Thick, meaty, and complex in flavor, this traditional Hungarian soup from the Budapest area sticks to the ribs. The caraway is a wonderful counterpoint to the piquancy of the paprika and the cool blandness of the sour cream. Serve hot to 4 people as a meal with lots of bread and, ideally, a strong red Hungarian wine.
Garnish: minced parsley
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, then toss in onion and sauté til golden brown. Sprinkle on the paprika, stir in, then add the water to release all the flavor. Cook down until the liquid has evaporated, then toss in the meat cubes. Stir in the pepper, bay leaves, caraway, salt, and garlic. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 30-35 minutes. The sauce should be thick by the end.
Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and string beans, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 more minutes.
When ready to serve, have the soup at a boil and whisk in the flour-oil roux to thicken. Spoon the sour cream in--NOT stirring, as you want the creamlets to hold their shape, not blend in--and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes.
Ladle into flat soup plates and top each with minced parsley.