I will not argue that all these soups are historically German. But Frau Zorn, the hostess of our boarding house in Cologne, cooked them so deliciously that all five days of our stay in the city I was impressed by her cooking and honestly rewrote the recipes. The only thing that caused me difficulty was an attempt to pronounce unpronounceable names. So I didn’t even really try to memorize them and wrote under the dictation of a laughing Elsa “soup No. 1,” No. 2, etc.
And also, what I noted for myself is the incredible taste of the hens themselves, or rather, the males. When Elsa showed me these very hens (and she always made purchases in one place and was not going to cheat on him – it was the Wochenmarkt Porz market) I blinked in surprise: “Hello, Soviet cooking!”: Blue, long, thin birds, though, with a cheerful, bright ribbon label around the clawed foot.
– So that you know, these birds are the most delicious! – Elsa proudly told me. – I have been buying them for 45 years! By the way, Elsa cooked the broth immediately from 3-4 birds in a huge brilliant saucepan, where you could easily place the tiny Elsa herself. She believed that spending time each time preparing the same foundation was not rational. Therefore, she kept the broth in the refrigerator room, each time casting the norm for dinner and boiling the beaten egg in the cast broth to lighten it.
By the way, one more practical advice from Elsa! She always took a strictly defined amount of money with her to the market with a large bill (here, in Russia, it can be a thousandth bill). Always traded and each time returned with a different amount of change, depending on purchases. She put this change in an empty wine bottle, and at the end of the month she broke the bottle and took the money to the bank. For a month she ran (plus or minus) 100 euros. She had been doing this for almost fifty years, for a year some interest was rushing on this money and Elsa called them “my vacation”. She had enough money for a month's rest in Thailand or in South Africa (for some reason she loved these two countries). I give myself an honest word to start acting like Elsa and always forget, preferring the card. Money is flowing through your fingers …
There, in the market, Elsa bought fish. Today we will prepare 4 chicken soups and one fish soup, so we will start with it, until the fish we have got windward. And the blue beauties will wait for us.
I know how kindly some readers relate to the word “ear”, therefore I do not write “ear in Cologne”, but I write only “Cologne fish soup”.
Cologne Fish Soup.
This soup is characterized by a reddish color, a pungent taste with the aroma of boiled fish, smoked lard and vegetables.
To prepare it, we will need: 2 l of broth, 400 g of carp, 1 large onion, carrot, tomato, sweet paprika pod, a small piece of parsley root, 50-80 g of smoked bacon, 1 tbsp. flour, sweet red ground pepper, 500 g of potato, chilli pepper, salt.
From the heads of fresh carp, we cook the broth (40 minutes), filter. We do not salt the broth and do not improve it. Only fish and water.
Dismantled and well-washed fish, cut into portions.
In smoked bacon, fry diced carrots, parsley and onions. Add a little flour and sweet ground red pepper, then sliced fresh tomatoes and bell pepper.
In boiling and strained fish stock we put diced potatoes and prepared pieces of fish, cook for 25-30 minutes. Yes, for so long. Elsa believed that the fish should become so tender that it was difficult to keep it with a slotted spoon.
Combine the soup with fried vegetables and bring to readiness. At the end of cooking, add bitter capsicum and salt. Serve with finely chopped greens. The combination of smoked bacon and fish in one pot is a completely unusual taste and aroma for us. But it's worth you to try it!
Cologne onion soup. You haven’t eaten this yet!
Thick, but at the same time, light soup, a cross between a classic French onion soup and our green borscht. And the addition of lemon makes it especially original. Delicious!
Ingredients: 10 onions (medium size), 0.5 kg of cabbage, 100 ml of sunflower oil, 1 carrot, 1 l of chicken stock, 3 tbsp. l wheat flour, 1 centimeter slice of lemon, salt, pepper, bay leaf, dill.
We prepare products. Cut the onion into small cubes, cut the cabbage into strips, and three carrots on a fine grater. Take a saucepan (preferably with a thick bottom). Heat the oil in it, leaving a couple of spoons for frying the flour. Fry onion in oil, constantly stirring. Do not let the onion burn! Fry the onion only until transparent and light golden.
Pour the onion with broth (you can also use water), bring to a boil, add cabbage, mix, bring to a boil again, add carrots, bay leaves, pepper and salt to taste. Cook everything until cooked over low heat under a lid.
In a frying pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and, stirring constantly, fry the flour to the characteristic smell of a toasted nut. Add the flour to the soup, mix, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Leave the soup on the stove for another 5 minutes.
When serving, sprinkle with finely chopped dill and add the juice of a lemon wedge to each plate. Lemon juice greatly changes the taste of the soup, makes it more interesting and with a slight sourness.
Spicy garlic soup with brussels sprouts
Tasty, rich and aromatic soup will decorate the table and warm on a cold day. I tried it on Christmas Eve.
2 l of chicken stock, 200 g of Brussels sprouts, 500 g of potatoes, 150 g of bell pepper, 100 g of carrots and onions, 7 cloves of garlic, dill, bay leaf, salt, pepper, frying oil, sour cream.
We wash Brussels sprouts, put in boiling water for 2 minutes and put them in a colander. Peel the potatoes, cut into cubes. My pepper, clean and cut into strips. In a boiling broth we put potatoes, then pepper, then Brussels sprouts. Bring to a boil, salt and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the onions in small cubes. Peel the carrots and three on a coarse grater. Fry the carrots with onions for about 10 minutes, stirring. Finely chop dill (chop with a heavy knife so that the greens produce juice). Add frying to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
Then squeeze the garlic through the press into the soup, add the dill and bay leaf, remove from heat, cover with a lid and let it brew for 10 minutes. Very tasty and unusual!
Garlic Chicken Soup
This is the only soup in which Elsa added boiled chicken. All other soups were served without meat, which Elsa used for salads or hot dishes for dinner. Soups, by the way, were also served at dinner.
0.5 kg of chicken, 2 liters of water, 4 potatoes, 0.5 carrots, herbs, 2 bay leaves. For garlic rolls: 1 egg, about 150 g flour, salt, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. For the filling: 50 g butter, 2 cloves of garlic, herbs.
Boil the chicken until cooked. This soup is especially tasty ate to cook it on the wings.
We make dough for roulette: pour flour into a bowl, make a crater, break an egg into it, add a pinch of salt and vegetable oil, knead the dough. Mix soft butter with garlic and pressed chopped greens. Roll the dough very thinly, grease it with garlic oil, roll it up, cut the roll in centimeter slices. Add potatoes and carrots to the broth, while laying the rolls. Reduce the heat so as not to mix anything. Cook for another 15 minutes, season with spices and herbs. Very unusual, not "hackneyed" soup, you can believe me!
And finally, the soup, which my husband really loved, and then our whole family. And the easiest!
Cheese bomb bouillon
Bouillon: 1/2 chicken (can be cooked from the back), 1 carrot and onion, 2 l of water, 2 bay leaves, herbs, salt. Bombs: 100 g of hard cheese, 2 tbsp. tablespoons flour, 20 g butter, 1 tsp chopped parsley, 1 egg.
Pour the chicken with cold water, add the chopped carrot directly into the cold water, set it to cook until the chicken is ready. The foam is not removed in this soup. Elsa said that sometimes it is necessary to leave the foam, because there is something useful in it (only I forgot that).
For bombs: three cheese on a fine grater, drive in an egg, add soft butter, a little flour and greens. Sculpt the balls. This is convenient to do with two spoons. In this way, and lower them into the finished hot broth. Cook for 5 minutes, turn off the fire. And let it be delicious!