|Place of origin||Hungary|
Főzelék is a type of thick Hungarian vegetable stew or soup, similar to pottage. Főzelék is a special category in Hungarian cuisine, not quite like a soup, and thinner than a stew. It is simply cooked, typically by simmering, not mashing. It is usually not cooked with meat, but bacon and spicy sausage may be added for flavor. Főzelék is often eaten as the main course for lunch or like a garnish for different meat courses. Főzelék was typically a home-made food, and was considered as an ordinary type of meal so traditionally it seldom appeared on restaurant menus but in recent years, as part of the culinary revolution in Hungary, főzelék enjoys a revival and it is much more common to be found on menus, there are even places dedicated to offering various főzelék as main course.
Its name roots in the verb főz ("cook"), modified by the -(a/e)lék suffix which renders the meaning to the results of the verb. Thus the word főzelék approximately means "[something] created by cooking". Hence in Hungarian a prefix is always used to make clear what the given főzelék is actually made of, e.g.: tökfőzelék (traditionally made of marrow but zucchini or other type of squash is also becoming popular), babfőzelék (made of beans) etc.
Főzelék can be made with a variety of ingredients including cabbage, potatoes, sauerkraut, tomatoes, peas, carrots, kale, kohlrabi, lentils, pinto beans, squash, spinach, sorrel, yellow wax beans or mixed vegetables.
It is usually thickened with roux and/or sour cream, and some combination of the following may be added: chopped onions, paprika, bay leaf, black peppercorn, dill, caraway seeds, garlic, lemon juice, parsley or vinegar. If eaten alone it is often topped with pörkölt, fried eggs, smoked sausage, Hungarian meatballs flavoured with garlic, called fasírt, and other deep-fried foods.
- Emperor's Crumbs, The culinary crossroads of Central Europe Archived 2010-07-09 at the Wayback Machine
- June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Cookbook
- Gundel's Hungarian Cookbook, Karoly Gundel.