Egg Soup by Berci (Berci tojáslevese)

Submitted by:
Balázs Danka, Mainz, Germany
Historical linguistics, Cultural history of Turkic-speaking peoples

Image Source: Author

Ingredients

The basic concept is a rich sour-smokey soup, and might be adjusted according to presonal preference. This recipe is easy to learn, but hard to master. Don't give up if you don't manage it the first time! :)

1 bottle of beer or a glass of wine per participants (not into the food)
50g fat bacon
50g smoked bacon
50g smoked ham
4 sclices of (preferably Hungarian) sausages with paprika
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 potato
1 small piece celery (equal to the amount of the potato)
2 pieces champignons
2 pieces parsley
2 pieces chives
2 spoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vinegar
Pepper
Salt
Caraway (whole seeds)
Marjoram
1 bay leaf
Paprika powder (hot or sweet, according to personal preference)
8 eggs
Serves for 4 persons

0. Put your favourite music on and open the beer or taste the wine to get focused (optional). Personally, I prefer some heroic metal, since the everyday heroes are the ones who cook food for friends/family. Also, you can save energy by boiling the water by (and not while) screaming.

1. Chop the fat bacon and put it into a hot pot. Wait until it releases the fat. Chop the onion, and add it to the fat. Fry it until it gets glazy. Chop the other meat ingredients and roast them a bit. By personal preference, the fat can be replaced by oil, and the meat ingredients skipped, but basically these provide the basic smoked taste. If so, I trust it on the fellow cook how to provide it.)

2. Cut the carrot and the celery. Add a glass of water to the onion and add the carrot and celery, as these need the most time for getting cooked. Boil them for a couple of minutes

3. Cut the potato and champignons, chop the garlic, parsley and chives. Add them to the soup with another glass of water. The point is that the water should be added periodically in small amounts, and one should keep the soup in a slow but constant boiling. (Keep on screaming.)

4. Add the spices and boil them together for 15 minutes.

5. Probably you finished your drink until now, so get another one (optional).

6. Mix the flour and the sour cream clean-boled, and some of the soup to it, until you bring it to the state of a dense, warm, homogenous liquid. This is called 'habarás' (=liaison). Pour it into the boiling soup very slowly, while stirring the soup slowly. It is important that mixture of sour cream and flour is warm and homogenous, otherwise you will see small, white pieces swimming in your soup. Boil it together for a couple of minutes.

7. The trickiest part is adding the eggs. It is the best if you have somebody there with you. Break the eggs and add them rapidly one by one (drop them into different spots of the pot). It is the best if the yolks remain in whole. Boil the soup for two more minutes - here the goal is that the egg-whites solidify, but the yolks remain liquid. Now it is ready!

8. Serve the soup with parsley leaves and fresh bread (any kind). Given enough bread, it can be consumed as a main course as well.

Bon appetit!

Background

I learnt this recipe from one of my old friends, Berci, when I was a junior in my old university dormitory. Berci was a strange, but funny fellow with the biggest heart I've ever seen. He was my mentor as a cook, and I am grateful to him ever since for being able to impress girls and make friendships with my cooking skills during and after my dorm years.
Preparing the ingredients and the whole cooking process is meant as a kind of social event, so it is recommended for a bigger kitchen and both before and after going to parties, especially to overcome hangover.

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