Having once fantasized about opening a soup bar, no surprise that my first blog post is about soup. Many English speakers call this goulash, but Gulyás (gooey-awsh) is the Hungarian word for this soup that sometimes ends up being a stew. The Wikipedia entry on this outlines its origin hundreds of years ago, and its appearance in many East European cuisines. It is one of those dishes that appears in so many variations, you can never be certain what you will get if you order it in a restaurant – though the essentials are meat, vegetables and paprika. My cultural heritage is Hungarian, but this is not a family heirloom recipe. Rather, it is based on a “last century” learning experience. My best friend and I, struggling with work/family imbalance, decided to “do something for ourselves.” We enrolled in a soup course. (Afterwards we agreed that this only added to the struggle – but that’s what memories are made of.) We learned the “soup secrets” of the chef from the Black Forest Inn , and this soup remains a favourite to this day – we have delivered it to each other on occasions requiring comfort food. I am sharing my version of his recipe, with some additional notes and tips. It's just what you need on a winter’s day – but it’s delicious all year round. Click here for the recipe.