Alphabet Gulyassuppe (Gulash Soup) – The Imitation Game

It’s that time of year again. OscarsFeast has started! Please excuse the break in regular slow carb programming for some escapist delights. First cab off the rank of the eight films nominated for Best Picture in 2015;

The Film:

The Dish:

The Reason:

Mathematician Alan Turing(Benedict Cumberbatch) is a curious fellow. For one, he doesn’t like sandwiches.  He’d rather a bowl of broth for lunch. What he does like, is puzzles. And there is no greater challenge facing the allies during World War Two than cracking the elusive German code. Unraveling the chaotic soup of letters the Enigma Machine churns out every 24 hours requires more than  the most fluent linguists and cryptologists. It takes a mind like Turing’s.  For ‘sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine’. And sometimes it’s the most unlikely combination of flavours that will make a simple dish shine. This German classic of Gulyassuppe  may at first glance resemble a simple tomato soup, but soon the differences will make themselves plain. The secret is  the Teutonic rasp of carraway seeds, softened by the silkiness of pork fat and brazen confidence of paprika. It’s a curious combination, but it works.  For texture and sustenance add a good shaking of alphabet noodles and allow them to lurk beneath the surface as undetected as Uboats. Or shuffle them to the surface and try to make sense of what you see. Don’t fret too much if you can’t make head or tail of your very own German Alphabet Soup. Lucky for you, the fate of the world doesn’t depend on it.

The Way:

Alphabet Gulyassuppe (Gulash Soup)

Serves 2


2 tbsp butter, beef or bacon fat
1 brown onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika (optional)
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 1/2 cups of beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar/white wine vinegar
1/2 cup alphabet noodles (can also substitute a 400 g drained tin of whitebeans or lentils for a slow carb substitute).


1) Melt the butter or the fat over a medium heat on a heavy bottom pan.

2) Add the onions and sautee them for 5-7 minutes until they are translucent.

3) Add the spices.

4) Sautee over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to combine.

5) Add the tomato paste and beef stock and stir to combine.

6) Use a stick blender, or transfer to a food processor to blitz until smooth.

7) Return the smooth soup to the pot. Add the noodles and bring to a simmer. Cook until the noodles are tender.

For a trip down memory lane for last year’s OscarsFeast, go here.

For 2013, go here.


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