Today I'm remembering a recipe I've had for years and years (and years). It's called "Goulash Soup". Goulash (for the uninitiated) is a Hungarian stew of meat (take your pick), vegetables (whatever you have), and a healthy dose of paprika. Comfort food at its finest.
3 lbs. beef for stew, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 cups beef broth
1/2 lb. potatoes, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3/4 lb. potatoes, pared and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry noodles
Heat olive oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat; add about 1/3 of the beef to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining beef. It is important to not crowd the pan. If the pieces of beef are too close together they will not brown properly--instead they will simply steam.
Add more oil to the pan as needed.
To the same pan stir in the onions and cook until onions begin to brown. Return browned beef chunks to the pan. Stir in remaining ingredients except diced potatoes and noodles. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and cover. Simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Note that the grated potatoes will fall apart--they are intended to thicken the soup.
Stir in diced potatoes and noodles and continue to cook until potatoes and noodles are cooked through.