Guest recipe: Hungarian Cauliflower Soup with Cashew Sour Cream  »

For me, Hungarian food is not only comforting, it’s also the only type of cuisine I can cook without referencing recipes. Growing up, I learned from my mom as she cooked green pea soup with nokedli, layered potatoes, cucumber salad, stuffed cabbage, plum dumplings, walnut noodles, and paprikás.

The cool thing about Hungarian food is that not only are many dishes naturally vegan, but many others are easily veganizable. And since my family has never been big on meat (we were even macrobiotic at one point), I have always leaned towards the most easily veganizable dishes anyways.

 So when I had a craving for cauliflower soup I decided to take a traditional recipe from Culinaria Hungary and adjust it a bit. The recipe calls for sour cream (as many Hungarian dishes do) and I figured I’ll just leave it out and make a brothy soup. But when I tasted it I realized that it absolutely needed the creaminess as well as another layer of flavor. Then it came to me—cashew sour cream! It blended into the soup easily and worked really well with the cauliflower, giving a very similar effect as dairy sour cream.

 Below is the edited version of the soup recipe. There are a few recipes you could use for the sour cream—one from jugalbandi that’s actually fermented and one from The Spunky Coconut that uses lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Honestly, I just put some cashews in my Vitamix, and then added water, lemon juice, and a little salt slowly until it was the right consistency and flavor. If you don’t have a Vitamix or Blendtec, I would recommend pushing the cream through a strainer to make sure it is completely smooth.

 Hungarian Cauliflower Soup (Karfiolleves)

You need:

1-2 pounds cauliflower florets (depends what vegetable to broth ratio you prefer)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons flour (if you are gluten-free, you can skip making the roux and just have lighter broth) salt to taste
2-4 tablespoons Hungarian sweet (not hot) paprika—It HAS to be Hungarian paprika. Seriously, my people make the best paprika in the WORLD (mwah hahahaha…)! Don’t fret—you can buy it at any grocery store.
Bunch of parsley, finely chopped

How to:

1. In a large pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium to medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook until golden to very light brown. This will create a liquidy roux.
2. Remove roux from heat and stir in paprika. You never want to put paprika directly in a heated pan because it will burn and turn bitter. Stir in cauliflower florets and coat with roux.
3. Add 6 cups of water and stir to dissolve roux. Add salt to taste. Let soup come to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is at desired tenderness. I like to have it be pretty soft and able to be cut with a spoon.
4. Add parsley, stir, and turn off heat. Serve in bowls alongside cashew sour cream which can then be added to each bowl and stirred in per individual taste.

Jo étvágyat! (Bon Appétit!)

Vi Zahajszky, originally from Hungary, Boston, and New York, drove across the country to San Francisco two years ago with her husband Chris and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and cooking many delicious vegan meals! As you can tell by her previous guest posts, we love her. 

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