Our permaculture intern is of Hungarian descent and as I am so interested in global food and cultural eating I have been prying him for details on traditional dishes and his favorite foods, when he presented the sweetest little cookbook his mom made him. In it I found some tasty sounding dishes but was drawn especially to a recipe for Hungarian dumplings (nokedli) in a wax bean soup. Yum. I used his mom’s nokedli recipe and instructions but ended up forming the “noodles” in the fashion my German friend taught me when I got my spetzle lesson. The lazy lumpy noodle dumpling are delicious and are well worth the effort. As there is nothing quiet as comforting as homemade chicken soup bursting with homemade noodles, or nokedli as it may be.
As for the soup goes it started it’s life as a roast chicken carcass that spent two day simmering away in onion and garlic broth, and then it got a Hungian sweet paprika treatment and the addition of the last of my frozen wax beans from last years harvest. The soup was great and although I took all sorts of slack for not serving it with sour cream (sorry to you traditionalists, and to Jordans Mom… I just don’t stock very many creamy white dairy type items in my fridge), everyone seemed to enjoy the soup immensely!
I won’t tell you how to make chicken soup, only that the addition of wax bean fried in butter and doused in sweet hungarian paprika made this my own take on the bean soup recipe in the cookbook. As for the nokedli, here is how it came together:
In a bowl mix 4 eggs with enough flour to make a thick gluey dough, that will fast become very hard to mix. But carry on mixing well until silky and thick. I used Anita’s white spelt flour (which is my favourite easy spelt sub in, it can be used in every manner one would use white flour, with out any of the traditional whole-grainy spelt issues to contend with)
Let the dough rest at room temperature for a time, and about 10 minutes before you want to serve dinner, get your soup up to a rolling boil and start to form the dough dumplings and let them boil for 8 minutes. Jordan’s mom’s technique was to cut little bits of dough over the edge of a bowl using a wet knife. My German friend showed me to use a large wooden paddle and a flat dough scraper to cut bits right into the boiling liquid. This is no easy task, but with some experimenting you will get a flow down. You want semi-consistent bite size lumps, which will start to float to the top once cooked.
Serve the soup with a hearty garnish of parsley and I used garden fresh peppery watercress in my garnish as well. And for those of you who enjoy sour cream, apparently this is the place for it! Go on give it a go (the nokedli I mean not the sour cream)
Enjoy, and thanks Jordan’s Mom, for sharing both the recipe and your super son!