Fülesleves from Hódmezővásárhely

Hódmezővásárhely, a city in Southeast Hungary (25 km far from Szeged), has been one of the economic and cultural centers of the Great Hungarian Plain for centuries. The city’s name – which literally translates to Marketplace on the Beavers’ Field – was first mentioned after the fusion of two Árpád-era villages, Hód and Vásárhely. The term mező was later added to the town’s name.

Fülesleves is traditionally made in Hódmezővásárhely. In spite of its name it has nothing to do with any (human or animal) ears, it refers to the small bowls with handles in that the soup used to be served in the old days. The soup is very light and tasty; its specialty lies in the tiny cottage cheese dumplings that are seasoned with dill and cooked in the soup.

Fülesleves from Hódmezővásárhelyphoto: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200 g (~7 oz) carrots, diced
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) parsley roots, diced
  • 200 g (~7 oz) pork (boneless), diced
  • 150 g (~5 oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 200 ml (~3/4 cup) cream
  • 2 liters (~8 cups) water
  • lemon juice to taste

For the cottage cheese dumplings:

  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g (~3/4 cup) flour
  • 1-2 tsp dill, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add finely chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add diced pork, carrots, parsley roots and mushrooms and sear for 2-3 minutes or until all sides of the pork cubes turn faintly golden brown. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with flour, season with salt, pepper and tarragon, then give it a good stir. Pour in cream and water, and return the pot to the heat. Slowly simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile make the cottage cheese dumlings. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and knead them together. Shape the mass into tiny balls. When pork is nearly done, add the dumplings to the soup and cook for 10-15 minutes or until pork and dumplings soften completely. Turn off the heat and flavour the soup with lemon juice.

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