Here are two vegetarian recipes that I adapted from a cookbook borrowed from my co-worker – Bulgarian Rhapsody by Linda Forristal. A simple pea and cabbage soup called “Autumn Soup” is flavored with paprika, parsley and just a bit of vinegar. And a quickbread called Tutmanik is studded with feta cheese crumbles and garnished with paprika.
The soup is a simple vegetable soup, but satisfying. The touch of vinegar at the end reminds me of the way my mom would make chicken soup where we would add a few drops of lemon juice right before eating. That bit of sour just generally brightens the flavors in the rest of the soup.
1 Tbsp. oil
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
7 c. water
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
3 c. shredded green cabbage
3 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 c. frozen green peas
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. vinegar
Saute onion and celery in oil over medium heat until translucent and just starting to brown. Add water and 1 tsp. salt and bring to a simmer. Add cabbage and potatoes and bring to simmer again. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, thaw and puree peas in a blender or food processor. You may need to add a bit of broth to fully puree the peas. Add peas to the soup.
Melt the butter in a small pan, add flour and stir to make a roux. After it is all incorporated, remove from heat and stir in paprika. Transfer about 1 c. of soup broth to the roux and mix in gently, gradually adding more broth to try and prevent clumping. Add roux back to the soup to help thicken it a bit. Stir well and take soup off heat. Add parsley and vinegar, serve.
Tutmanik – Feta Cheese bread
1/4 c. oil
1 c. yogurt
1/2 lb. feta
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
paprika to garnish
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together the eggs, oil, yogurt, feta, and salt. Sift together flour and baking powder, and stir in gently to the egg mixture. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Pour the batter into this pan, and garnish with sprinkles of paprika.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or just until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a dollop of yogurt as shown in picture. This bread is supposed to be served for breakfast, but it did make a nice accompaniment for the soup. I halved the recipe and baked it in a smaller oblong baking dish. It was like a moist feta cheese biscuit!