Hungarian Beef & Mushroom Soup

Hungarian Beef & Mushroom SoupLight enough to lead into a meal, filling enough to be the main attraction at lunch, this Beef and Mushroom Soup showcases classic Hungarian flavours.

3 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef
12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium or homemade beef or chicken stock
1 cup sour cream (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Garnish:
sour cream
fresh ground black pepper

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter gently over medium-low heat. Add the onions and salt, and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are very soft.
Increase the heat to medium and add the beef. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the mushrooms, dill, thyme, paprika(s) and cayenne, mixing to incorporate well. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes on medium-low or until the mushrooms have softened and the spices have infused their flavours.

Stir in the stock, then increase heat to bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer another 5 minutes.

Swirl in the sour cream and lemon juice. Taste, adding more salt if necessary.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a grinding of fresh black pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Charmian Christie, The Messy Baker.