(Dubiously) Bulgarian Tomato Soup with Couscous Dumplings

 

From Susannah Strang

[Says Susannah: “Simple and satisfying to make! However this recipe uses an annoying number of bowls, and you’ll need a beater for egg whites. Adapted from an online recipe originating in one of the Moosewood cookbooks.”]

Soup:
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 cups chopped tomatoes (I use Romas, but any will work. You only need to core minimally, seeds and murky innards are fine)
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes (whole or diced– sub plain tomatoes if needed)
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or other hot dried pepper, ground
2 teaspoons paprika (optional, but if you have it you can use sweet, hot, or smoked, adjust other heat as necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock

Dumplings:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 room temperature eggs, separated
1/4 cup couscous
1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped fine
1/3 cup milk

chopped parsley for garnish

Saute onions and garlic in the bottom of a large soup pot. As they cook, chop and add tomatoes. Continue to saute until the tomatoes are very soft and the onions have turned orangey-gold. At this point, add the canned tomatoes, and mash with a potato masher or a spoon if there are whole tomatoes or large pieces, until the mix is nicely chunky. Stir in the spices– taste for flavor, it should be intense but balanced. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of flour very thoroughly, then vigorously whisk in the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer for at least 20 minutes to thicken and combine flavors.

Meanwhile, pour the boiling water over the couscous in a small bowl, cover and allow to steam until all water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and egg yolks together until very smooth. Stir in the flour, salt, couscous, dill, and milk, and mix thoroughly. In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then gently fold the whites in to the couscous mixture until combined, keeping it as fluffy as possible.

Use a teaspoon to place blobs of dumpling dough onto the surface of the simmering soup. Usually the dumplings will sit on the surface, and will begin to hold their form after about 5 minutes in the hot liquid.

Sometimes rogue dumplings will sink, but they all seem the same after cooking. Try not to disturb the dumplings as they cook, as they will break up and make the soup extremely thick (though it still tastes good). Once all the blobs are placed in the liquid, put a lid on the pot and steam for at least 10 minutes. The dumplings may form a serious layer on the surface of the soup– after steaming this should be easy to gently separate so that they can get distributed throughout the broth.

Parsley is a nice garnish, but if you’ve got extra dill, that works great too.

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4 Responses to “(Dubiously) Bulgarian Tomato Soup with Couscous Dumplings”

  1. David K Says:

    I freaking LOVED this danged soup!

  2. Soup cooks 3/10/10 « Soup and Bread Says:

    […] and high school teacher (and dumpling-soup-maker) Susannah Kite […]

  3. Soup cooks 3/17/10 « Soup and Bread Says:

    […] A return visit from Susannah Kite Strang […]

  4. Week 11 « Soup and Bread Says:

    […] the far left is Susannah Kite Strang, following up last week’s fresh pea soup with a pot of yummy vegetarian minestrone that […]

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