Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This morning it is 5 degrees. You know what that means,,,,SOUP!  I am going to make a pot of soup, using a recipe I haven’t made in approximately 6, maybe 7 years. I have been craving German Goulash Soup. It is a delightfully spiced soup with beef, potatoes and mushrooms in a rich paprika broth. And if you are in a  baking mood, whip together some German Pretzels to split, heat and spread with some sweet creamery butter and tuck in a piece of Swiss cheese. It truly is a perfect combination!
Hope you enjoy it.

German Goulash Soup serves 12

5 pounds - beef (cut in small cubes)
1 stick butter
3 large onions (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
6 tablespoons paprika (Up to 8 tablespoons, depending on your taste)
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
9 tablespoons tomato paste
3 bay leaves
9 cups water
6 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups Somerset Ridge Vineyard Ruby Red wine
12 medium potatoes (cubed)
24 ounces sliced mushrooms

1. Brown the meat in oil or butter.
2. Add the onions and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the paprika, bay leaf, caraway seeds, water, and broth.
4. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours
5. Add the potatoes and simmer for an additional 1 hour
6. Add the sliced mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes (during really bad weather when I don't want to get out, I have been known to add several large cans of sliced mushrooms, liquid and all, instead of fresh. Just needs to be heated through for a few minutes)
7. Stir in the tomato paste and red wine. Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes.
8. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Schein app├ętit!
Classic German Pretzels

1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups room-temperature water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons non-diastatic malt powder , available at
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (2 1/2 to 3)

1. Mix the sugar, water and yeast; stir to dissolve. (If you're using instant
yeast, skip this step, simply combining all of the ingredients at once.) Add
the white wheat flour, malt, salt, and enough unbleached flour to make a
soft (but not sticky) dough. Knead well, place in a bowl, and let rise till
2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a log, and shape the logs into pretzels. In a large pot, boil together 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Put 4 pretzels at a time into the boiling water, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer boiled pretzels to a lightly greased baking sheet.
3. When all the pretzels have been cooked, paint them with an egg glaze (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with salt or seeds (if desired), then bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pretzels are well-browned. Yield: 16 soft, chewy pretzels.

I suppose with a German soup and German pretzels, I should share a German dessert. Is there a dessert from Germany that is better known than Apple Strudel? I've made the strudel dough that you roll and stretch until you can see through it, but it is very time consiming. I used to have a neighbor, Erika, who was from Germany. She taught me how to make strudel. 3 hours later, we had apple strudel. Using sheets of phyllo dough from your grocers freezer section makes life much easier. How does it compare? Honestly, I prefer the homemade, but when you are baking the pretzels too, the dough is just too time consuming 
I found this recipe on It is so much easier than the authentic strudel recipe I have used for years.

Apple Strudel

1/2 cup raisins
2 pounds mixed gala and granny smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced and coarsely chopped, about 7 cups
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup graham crackers crushed
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 14- by 9-inch sheets phyllo dough
confectioners' sugar for dusting
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 375F with rack in middle.
Soak raisins in hot water until slightly softened, about 1 hour or overnight. Drain raisins and stir together with apples, walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir together remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
On a work surface arrange an 18-inch-long-piece of wax paper with a long side facing you, cover it with 1 sheet of the phyllo, and brush the phyllo lightly with some of melted butter then lightly sprinkle with sugar mixture and graham cracker crumbs. Layer 5 more sheets of phyllo over the first sheet in the same manner, brushing each sheet lightly with some of the melted butter, then sprinkling with sugar mixture and graham cracker crumbs. Mound half the apple mixture (about 3 3/4 cups) evenly along the long side facing you, leaving a 2-inch border at each end. Using the wax paper as a guide and rolling away from you, roll up the strudel gently but tightly and, with the seam side down (ends will be open; stuff any fallen pieces of apple back into strudel).
Carefully transfer strudel to a lightly buttered jelly-roll pan. Make another strudel with the remaining ingredients in same manner and transfer it to the jelly-roll pan 2-inches leaving a 2-inch space between strudels. Brush strudels with some of the remaining melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. (You may have some remaining cinnamon-sugar and graham cracker crumbs.)
Bake strudels until golden, 35 to 45 minutes, and gently loosen with a spatula, then cool to warm in pan, about 30 minutes. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut strudels and dust with confectioners' sugar. Transfer to plates and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Lass uns essen!  That means "Let's eat!"

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker