The origins of goulash have been traced to the 9th century, to stews eaten by Magyar (Hungarian) shepherds. Before setting out with their flocks, the shepherds prepared a portable stock of food by slowly cooking cut-up meats with onions and other flavorings until the liquids had been absorbed. This stew was then dried in the sun and packed into bags made of sheep’s stomachs. At mealtime, water was added to a portion of the meat to reconstitute it, and the stew heated to taste.
This vegan recipe was inspired by a goulash recipe found in Food and Wine Magazine. It features two types of mushrooms, onions, Yukon Gold potatoes, Hungarian peppers and sweet Hungarian paprika. If you can’t find Hungarian wax peppers, substitute banana wax peppers and add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the stew.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions (chopped)
1 pound Hungarian hot wax peppers (cored, seeded and chopped)
1 ½ pounds wild mushrooms (cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 ½ pounds Cremini mushrooms (cleaned and quartered)
Salt and fresh ground pepperto taste
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (crushed)
6 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 small saucer squash (cut into 1-inch pieces)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
Sour cream and chopped parsley (for garnish)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook on medium-high heat until for about 8 to 10 minutes or until reduced and browned.
Add the garlic and caraway seeds to the pot. Stir in paprika, tomatoes, potatoes and squash. Add the broth and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper (if needed), and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for about an hour, stirring once or twice.
Add breadcrumbs and cook until slightly thickened. To serve, ladle goulash into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.