Advent is celebrated in many ways. A hundred years ago it was natural to devote this time to waiting and preparing for Christmas. It was a time to prepare the soul for celebration and through fasting to prepare the stomach for the feast.
By today, the festive season has lost much of its religious content. Advent seems to be the aim, the goal, the holiday itself, it’s far too often about flashing lights, shopping and glamor. So, I think it is quite a challenge these days to prepare for and eventually celebrate Christmas properly. In this post I’d like to contribute to the preparation period with two traditional Christmas recipes.
In Hungary we eat fish-soup or fisherman’s soup on Christmas Eve. Why fish-soup? Interestingly, in the past this was a meal for fasting and not for feasting. Christmas Eve in the folk calendar was also called Christmas Lent, the day and the evening belonged to the pre-holiday advent period, therefore non-meat rules applied. For that purpose fish-soup served well.
I’ve written about the differences between Szeged and Duna fish-soup earlier, but I think now it is proper to retell here how to make Szeged fish-soup: start with cooking small fish like carp, breams and crucians and lots of onion and salt in order to make a thick soup base. Use 3 big onions for about one and a half kilos of fish. Crush and let the soup through a sieve in order to remove bones. Paprika powder, sweet and hot, and carp fish slices are added only at the end.
Another typical holiday meal in Hungary is stuffed cabbage. This has nothing to do with fasting: the fresh pork meat came from the first pig-killing at the beginning of winter, the sour cabbage was also home-made and was used as the most important vitamin C source in winter. Mix one fried onion with half a kilo of minced meat, 200 g rice, 1 egg, salt and paprika powder. Form balls from this mixture and stuff the balls into the leaves of the sour cabbage. Lay the stuffed cabbages neatly on top of one another in a large pot, adding cabbage slices and some smoked meat in between. Fill with water and cook the cabbages. You may thicken the juice with a bit of flour and paprika powder. Serve with sour cream.
Tetszett a cikk? Ha szeretne még paprikás és fűszeres témában, heti rendszerességgel cikket olvasni, hírt kapni az ÚJ paprika elkészültéről, iratkozzon fel hírlevelünkre. A feliratkozás után azonnal letöltheti a Fűszerpaprika Kisokosunkat!