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A Crescent Dragonwagon recipe, a delicious sweet and sour soup, don't omit a thing, as all the flavors meld into an incredible dish. Cutting the beans into very thin diagonal slices is important; if you have a food processor, stand them up in the feed tube and use the slicing disk. Make sure your paprika is fresh for best flavor. For a much richer version, use up to a cup of creme fraiche or sour cream instead of the Yogurt. Creme fraiche will not require the cornstarch mixture as a stabilizer. I like to add a bit of Spanish smoked paprika, but it isn't necessary. A full-flavored stock is essential. I streamline her directions when I make this by sauteeing the onion, celery, and garlic in the soup pot, then adding the other ingredients and cooking it. I see no reason to clean two pans if I can clean just one!
- cooking spray
- 12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into quarter-inch slices
- 4 small potatoes, diced
- 6 cups chicken stock or 6 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon caraway seed
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced (use leaves, too)
- 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray, put in it the beans, potatoes, stock, vinegar, honey, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a ten-inch skillet. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the celery, saute another 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat slightly, and sprinkle the vegetables with the paprika. Let the mixture cook a minute, stirring constantly. Scrape the sauteed vegetables into the soup pot. Add a little soup liquid to the skillet and deglaze it, then scrape the pan contents into the soup pot. Remove the soup pot from the heat.
- When ready to serve, have the soup good and hot. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and mix it to make a smooth paste, using your fingers if necessary. Stir this paste into the yogurt. Whisk a ladle of the hot bean stock into the yogurt-cornstarch mixture. Turn down the heat under the soup as low as possible, and stir the cornstarch-stabilized yogurt into the very hot soup.Using a wooden spoon, stir gently until the soup has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (including honey and vinegar), if necessary, and to be sure there is no raw cornstarch taste. Serve hot with a rustic bread.