Thursday, March 25, 2010

#50 Bulgarian tripe soup

Bulgarian tripe soup

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this soup. First of all, the tripe: it’s like Marmite, you either love it, or hate it. Then, the strong, garlicky sauce – not very popular with society conscious ladies. And last, the way you cook the actual soup itself – should you use lamb or beef tripe; should you make it with yoghurt, or with regular milk; should you add raw eggs at the end, and so on, and so on...

Well, I have to admit I was one of those forward-thinking-modern-cooking girls. I just couldn’t be bothered with a smelly, offal containing soup, eaten usually by middle aged man as a hangover cure. Until... I tried it... and found how tasty it actually was! Yes, everyone can tell you have eaten garlic afterwards; Yes, tripe is not easy to find, regular supermarket product; Yes, it’s not cutting edge cuisine... And still, this soup is so good that we should't look for excuses not to but for ways and occasions to enjoy it!
Because, I think food is yet another field, which should be explored to the full and no trend or society dogmas need stop the search for good tastes of the modern foodie.

To serve 2
400 g beef tripe
1.5 l water
250 ml milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
½ tsp paprika

For the garlic sauce:
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
dried red chillies, crushed

Wash the tripe well, put it in a deep pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, skim off the impurities and lower the heat. Cook for ½ hour, or until the tripe is soft and well cooked.
Take the tripe out and chop it into 1.5 cm pieces.
Strain the water in which the tripe has been cooked, reserving 300 ml, which you pour back into the pan.
In a smaller pan, heat the butter and add the paprika. Stir for a few seconds.
Add the flour, stir and start adding the cold milk, being careful to avoid any lumps forming. Once the milk has been absorbed, transfer this mixture to the pan with the water. Season the soup with salt.
Gently simmer for 15 minutes, just enough to cook the flour.
Add the chopped tripe to the soup and keep on low heat for another 5 minutes.

To make the garlic sauce: in a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic with a pinch of salt into a paste, add the vinegar and chillies and stir well. Transfer to a small bowl.

Serve the soup in individual bowls.
Serve the garlic sauce on the side for each person to add as much as they like.

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