If you’ve ever been to a Hungarian wedding, the topic of this article is probably familiar to you. We’re going to learn about the Újházi chicken soup, which is – besides being one of the most famous Hungarian soups – the elemental part of traditional Hungarian weddings.
According to mindmegette.hu, the soup was named after Ede Újházi, a popular Hungarian actor, who was born in 1844. He was the admired artist of the second part of the 19th century. He was a tall, well-built man with a walrus mustache, who was known for his roles as Tiborc and Paul Apostle.
Besides being a great actor, he was also known for his love of gastronomy and sophisticated sense of taste. He was a regular guest in the Wampetics Restaurant (Gundel Restaurant today) and it is believed that the soup was first created in the restaurant.
He frequently shared his ideas with the chefs of the restaurant and he also liked to give instructions to them. This is how the famous chicken soup was created, which was then named after the actor.
However, fooodandwine.hu writes that the soup only became famous a few decades later, after the death of the actor. It is believed that the soup was created around 1889-1893, while it was only featured in the writings of Endre Nagy, Gyula Krúdy and Zsigmond Móricz in the 1930s. That was when the popularity of the Újházi chicken soup started spreading all over the country and the soup slowly became the favourite of many people.
Endre Nagy once wrote that “he (Ede Újházi) spared no effort and travelled to Debrecen to get the ingredients for his soup. He was looking for old roosters, which had to be cooked for three days so that they became as soft as the vegetables. He took really good care of the roosters’ crest and other organs as he superstitiously believed in their power”.
So the original soup was made with rooster, adding its crest and testicles as well. Moreover, the ingredients included chicken, dove, carrot, parsley, pees, green beans, celery, kale, turnip cabbage, pepper, cauliflower, mushroom, tomato puree and asparagus.
Naturally, the recipe has changed here and there throughout history. But the key to success is still the use of good quality ingredients.
Let’s find out how you can make this hearty and delicious soup at home 😉
Clean and prepare the chicken (or ask your butcher to do so). Clean and peel all of the vegetables. Cut the soup vegetables (carrots, turnips, celery, turnip cabbage) into bigger chunks. Place the chicken in a huge pan and cover it with water so that it covers the chicken, and bring it to boil. Place the garlic, pepper and safflower in a tea-infuser.
Add some salt, the soup vegetables, the tea-infuser, the onion, kale, green pepper and tomato to the soup. Keep on cooking it on low heat until everything becomes soft. Meanwhile, clean and chop up the mushroom, asparagus, cauliflower and place them in a separate pan along with the pees. Pour some of the soup over them and steam them.
After the chicken has cooked, take it out from the pan, tear it into smaller pieces, cut out the bones and keep it warm in the pan. Also take out the vegetables that have cooked with the meat, cut them into chips and add them to the steamed vegetables. At this point, you can throw away the kale, onion, tomato, pepper and the spices you put into the tea-infuser.
In a separate pan, cook the vermicelli in a few ladleful of the soup. Get a soup-tureen and you’re ready to serve. First, place the meat in the bottom of the tureen and then add the vermicelli, vegetables and lastly the soup itself. Sprinkle the top of the soup with parsley and you’re ready to enjoy your meal 🙂
Featured image: Wiki Commons By Wei-Te Wong
Source: Daily News Hungary