Hungarian Lentil Soup (Lencseleves)

By | January 1, 2015

The cuisine of Hungary isn’t very well known outside of its boundaries, which is a shame because the country is home to many fantastic dishes including soups. Flour and lard are often used to form a “roux,” that helps thicken and flavor the soup. Sour cream is another favorite soup ingredient, often stirred into the pot just before serving for a pleasant tanginess. Lentil soup (called Lencseleves in Hungary) is often eaten on January 1, as Hungarians believe it will bring them luck for the New Year. Here is my first soup recipe for 2015, and I hope you find it delicious and lucky. This makes a very thick, almost stew-like soup, so if you prefer a thinner consistency add additional water as it cooks and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Ingredients

 

Ingredients

1 pound green lentils, rinsed thoroughly in cold water
8 cups cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½-pound kielbasa or smoked ham, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lard
¼ cup sour cream
A few sprigs parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

How to make Hungarian Lentil Soup

Rinse the lentils thoroughly with cold running water

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and saute the onion, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes

Saute vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the garlic and paprika and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more

Add garlic and paprika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the lentils, bay leaves, salt, pepper and kielbasa or ham

Add lentils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour in the water, bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer

Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes

In a small saucepan or skillet, melt the lard over medium heat and brown the flour in the fat until golden in color

Flour and lard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a roux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add about 1 cup of the soup into the flour/lard mixture and cook until smooth, stirring frequently

Add soup to roux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour this back into the soup and stir well

Add the sour cream and let simmer for 5 more minutes

Add sour cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir once again to incorporate everything

Stir Together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed

Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve –  a spoonful of sour cream on top is always good!

Top with sour cream

 

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