Traditional Hungarian ragout soup
is made with vegetables: onions, carrots, parsley root, celery root, mushrooms, green peas, lemon juice, heavy cream and tarragon. Chicken breast fillet also can be added, but it is a wonderful light soup which can be vegetarian. It is important to add tarragon towards the end of the cooking to be able to best enjoy it’s flavor.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients for four persons:
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1/2 small celery root, peeled – cut into small cubes
100 grams (3.5 ounces) of green peas
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 parsley root, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
3 large or 5 medium white mushrooms, cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon of tarragon
200 ml (3/4 cup) of heavy cream (20-30%)
1250 ml (5 cups) of water
Ground black pepper
Juice of half a lemon
250 grams (8.8 ounces) of chicken breast fillet, cut into 2×2 cm cubes (optional)
In a soup pot, sauté the onions in vegetable oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. Do not let them burn. Salt lightly to help tenderize them. The onion should be cut into very, very small pieces.
If you make it with meat, add it now, season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes or until the meat has been seared on all sides.
Add the carrots, the parsley roots (or parsnips), and the celery root cubes.
Add 5 cups of water, cover, and after 10 minutes of cooking add the green peas and the mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat. In a bowl, mix the heavy cream with some soup liquid and pour this mixture back to the soup pot. (You cannot add the cream directly to the hot liquid, as it will cause it to curdle. You need to temper the cream first.) Add the tarragon to the soup.
Bring it back to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn the heat off and add the lemon juice slowly, spoon by spoon. Taste it. It is a refreshing soup, add more lemon juice if necessary. Do not add too much juice. It is not a lemon soup.