Soup for a Snowy Week

icy dayOur crocuses bloomed, but now they’ve face planted in a foot of snow, thanks to fickle New England weather. A blizzard shut down the city for an entire day last week, which gave me time to cook an intriguing recipe for German Goulash from Favorite American Recipes (Favorite Recipes Press, 1966). The book compiles recipes from contributors around the U.S. The goulash came from a woman in Ogden, Utah.

Germans in Utah? Yes, there’s a long history, including German Jewish merchants in Ogden in the mid-19th century. Many Mormons also came from Germany, and there used to be a German-language newspaper in Salt Lake City in the 1930s. Locals still connect to their German heritage through a concert series and a radio program. The soup comes from this history. Its red peppers, caraway seeds, and marjoram make a nice change from more traditional carrot-potato-celery combinations. This week, the goulash fueled many protracted battles with our icy driveway. May a thaw come soon!

Stew - goulash

German Goulash Soup (1966)
Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound beef stew meat or chuck roast, cubed
1 tablespoon salt
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 No. 3 can (approximately 6 cups) canned whole tomatoes [I used diced]
2 quarts water
2 cups uncooked potatoes, cubed
1 bouillon cube (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon marjoram

  1. Melt the butter. Saute the onions until brown.
  2. Add the meat, salt, and red pepper. Brown thoroughly. Stir in the flour and paprika.
  3. Gradually add the tomatoes and water. Simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Add the potatoes, bouillon cube, and black pepper, caraway seeds, and marjoram. Simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish each serving with parsley, if desired.
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About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers: hamburgers shaped like squares and peanut butter sandwiches. Fast forward 100 years and 500 miles north from my hometown of Richmond, Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts. Somehow, I ended up with a cooking gene as well as an interest in history and family stories. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and stories -- and other American recipes with a past. What do you have to share?
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