Goulash is a rich paprika-based dish popular in many eastern European nations, but it orginated in Hungary. The trick to making a super goulash is in the slow cooking and the quality of paprika you use. I would not dare to say this recipe to be particularly authentic, but it is damn tasty.
2 large sweet white onions, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 or 8 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped into large chunks
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 heaping tablespoons of fresh quality paprika - or more! (Even double this amount if you're feeling particularly adventurous. You really can't use too much. Sweet Hungarian paprika being preferred, though it may be difficult to find. Just make sure it's fresh - nothing that's been sitting around in your cupboard for a year.)
1 small can of tomato paste (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup each nutritional yeast, soy sauce and liquid sweetener
8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp marjoram
juice of half a fresh lemon, or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions and garlic. Sautee for a long time, until they are just starting to turn golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add the paprika and stir it in well. You do not want to fry the paprika as this will alter the taste. Add the water or stock, the chopped mushrooms caps, tomato paste and all other seasonings except for the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Return to heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow it to simmer on low, uncovered, for at least one hour. The longer the better, however. The sauce should reduce by almost half and become quite thick. If you prefer your goulash to be more like a soup, you can thin it with extra water or stock but I prefer it to be more like a very thick stew. After at least an hour of simmering, taste and adjust the seasonings as you like.
Goulash is served any number of ways. Some people cook tiny dumplings in it. Some serve it thick over noodles or cooked grains. Some like it with a dollop of sour cream and some black rye bread for dipping. Also, don't be afraid to play with the recipe. It would be fabulous with chickpeas or seitan or tofu in place of the mushrooms. Or try different kinds of wild mushrooms - boletus or chanterelle come to mind, especially. Eggplant would also be fantastic. Many traditional/authentic goulash recipes omit the tomato and add potatoes and other veggies in varying amounts. Just keep the goulash base, with the paprika and seasonings the same, and you can get as creative as you like.
This will serve six people as a main course.