Lebbencs soup with ground pork

Lebbencs is one of the simplest noodles that are used in the Hungarian cuisine. It’s the main ingredient of slambuc and túrós csusza, and it’s also the base of the following flavorful lebbencs soup.

The classic lebbencsleves doesn’t contain meat, but as I have learned recently, in some parts of our country this soup is cooked with ground pork. I have tried the recipe and it will stay in my cooking repertoire.

Lebbencs soup
Lebbencs soup with ground pork – photo: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

For the lebbencs:

  • 200 g (~7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • water

For the soup:

  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200 g (~7 oz) ground pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • pinch of marjoram
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet ground paprika
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp lard
  • 1 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped

The day before cooking the soup make the lebbencs noodles. Knead together flour, egg and a pinch of salt. Add a little water if necessary, just enough to get a tough dough. On a floured surface roll it out until thin, then roll up the dough on the rolling pin and with a sharp knife cut into wide strips. (Or you can divide the dough into parts and pass them through a pasta machine.). Lay the pasta strips onto clean kitchen towels and let them dry overnight. The next day break them into pieces.

Lebbencs
Roll up the dough on the rolling pin… – photo: zserbo.com
Lebbencs
… and cut into wide strips – photo: zserbo.com
Lebbencs
Leave them to dry – photo: zserbo.com
Lebbencs
Break into pieces – photo: zserbo.com

For the soup in a pot fry chopped bacon until crispy and it releases enough lard. Add finely chopped onions, a bit later finely chopped garlic and sauté. Add ground pork and fry until it turns white. Add caraway seeds, marjoram, salt and pepper, and sprinkle paprika over the meat. Give it a stir, then pour in water just enough to cover the food.

Meanwhile in a separate pot or frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of lard and toast lebbencs until it looks like this:

Toasted lebbencs
Toasted lebbencs – photo: zsebo.com

When the meat is moderately done, add diced potatoes, pour in 1,5 – 1,7 liters (~6-7 cups) of water, bring it to a boil and cook over medium heat. When potatoes are half-cooked, add toasted noodles and cook until all of the ingredients are soft and tender. Finally stir in finely chopped parsley leaves.

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