Bulgarian Chicken Paprikash Soup

A few months back Shannon and I went to a cooking class hosted by Barry and Meta West - "Traveling through Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Crotia with Barry and Meta."  We learned to make an Eastern European Dinner.  Tonight I made two items from what we learned, the Hungarian Dobostrorte and the Bulgarian Chicken Papriskash Soup. This is a healthy soup!  Shannon loves bread - so I made a small loaf in my bread machine - got to love that thing! 

3 to 4 tablespoons oil or butter
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 green pepper diced
1/2 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 TB Hungarian paprika
4 to 6 cups chicken stock or more as needed
2 cups canned tomatoes, diced
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream (or leave out if you prefer a clear soup)
2 lbs. cooked chicken meat, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional sour cream and paprika for garnish, if desired.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil or butter and saute the onion, celery, green pepper, and mushrooms until soft (I did not use oil or butter).  Add the paprika and 4 to 6 cups chicken stock.  Bring to boil then turn down to a simmer.  Add the diced tomatoes and additional chicken broth as needed.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.  Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.  Add the sour cream if using.  Add the chicken meat; heat through.  To serve:  ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of paprika if desired.

NOTE:  I made my own chicken stock.  I took 4 cups of water and placed in large pan.  Added three boneless skinless chicken breasts (they were frozen).  Added minced garlic, 2 diced celery sticks, 1 small onion, parsley, salt and pepper.  (I used one onion for the broth, then sauteed one onion as directed in recipe).  Boiled/simmered chicken for about 40 minutes.  Removed chicken and used liquid for the broth.  If you like a lot of juice, I would suggest using 6 cups when making the broth.  I started with 4 cups, but at the end of boiling my chicken only had about 3 cups.

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