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Hungarian Liver Dumpling Soup – Májgombóc leves

hungarian liver dumpling soup

A lovely home-made vegetable soup with delicately spiced soft dumplings. Even those who are  not usually a fan of  liver may find this pleasing, kids usually love it too. A great traditional Hungarian starter. I have fond memories about this dish with grandmothers, summer holidays weddings, and lots of things I care for; so here is the recipe.

Ingredients 4-6 portions

For the vegetable soup:
There are no exact measurements here, the vegetables could be adjusted to personal taste, this is how I make it.

  • 2 medium carrots – sliced to disks
  • 1 parsley root –  sliced to disks
  • few florets of cauliflower
  • medium potato – cubed
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas
  • 800ml chicken/vegetable stock or water
  • handful of small pasta shapes

For the dumplings:

  • 4 pieces of chicken liver
  • 1 egg (medium)
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • few springs of fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp of dried breadcrumbs, if shop bought something that looks like breadcrumbs is good, some vacky products around for these youngsters thee days ehh? ;-)
  • half a yellow onion, very finely chopped
  • salt/ pepper

Method

  1. Wash the vegetables, clean and chop up for the soup, smallish shape of your liking.
  2. For the liver dumplings as a preparation, saute half a finely chopped (medium) onion on a little oil till translucent, and let it cool down , set aside until a bit later.
  3. Back to the soup, start cooking the chopped potatoes and carrots on medium heat in the chicken/vegetable stock or water. When they are half done add the cauliflower disked parsley root and the peas. These are the main vegetables to be used, but others are good too, a few slices of kohlrabi is nice or 1-2 brussel sprouts or cabbage leaves. I like to crumble in a few strands of saffron too to give the soup a nice golden colour.
  4. While the soup is simmering away with the vegetables we can get on with the dumplings.
  5. Wash, clean the chicken livers and puree with a hand blender or go traditional and scrape the liver on a chopping board with a sharp knife starting from the sides and gradually advancing until you get mashed liver  – despite what it looks at this stage the end result will be delicious!
  6. Soak the piece of bread in water, squeeze the liquid out well and combine with the rest of the ingredients: the liver, egg, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste, then the dried breadcrumbs to make the paste into a consistency that could be formed into soft dumplings.
  7. Form dumplings (easier if rinse your hands with water first) or if your mixture is softer tear off little nuggets with the edge of a teaspoon and drop these into the just boiling/simmering soup and cook for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add in some pasta shapes towards the very end when the dumplings are nearly done and according to cooking time instructions. Small pasta for soups takes about 5 minutes to cook, but depends what you are using.

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