Hungarian goulash soup

Goulash (Hungarian: gulyás) is a soup of meat and vegetables usually seasoned with paprika and other spices. It is one of the national dishes of Hungary and a symbol of the country, but it is popular in other parts of Europe too. Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds. At that time, people dried the cooked and flavored meat with the help of the sun and packed it into bags produced from sheep’s stomachs, needing only water to make it into a meal. Earlier goulash recipes did not include paprika, as it was not introduced to the Old World until the 16th century.”

There are several different variations of this dish, basically, most Hungarian households have their own goulash recipe. Due to this variety, this dish seems to spark a lot of debate and argument among Hungarians concerning what ingredients should you use, how you should make it, etc. But the most widespread variation includes beef as a meat base but some recipes that call for pork. Usually, the recipe includes small pasta for soups (csipetke) but I left it out this time. And parsley root but I couldn’t find that in the local grocery store.

Goulash soup is a great comfort dish, warms the heart and the body during autumn and winter. It is a popular canteen dish. In Hungary when the lunch is a meat-based soup usually the next course is something sweet. We have many sweet noodle dishes to choose from.


  • 60 dkg stewing beef cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 parsley root if available in the stores
  • 1 smaller celery root/celeriac
  • 40 dkg potatoes
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter (in Hungary we use lard)
  • fresh parsley
  • 2,5 l water
  • 0,5 dl dry red wine optional


  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground the best
  • tiny pinch of hot pepper for spice


  • First, cut the onions into small cubes. Then cut the beef into 2 cm cubes. (Use separate knife and cutting board to avoid cross-contamination.)
  • In a large pot, melt butter and add onion.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, add the paprika stir it well with the onions and then add 1 dl of water. Simmer down the water.
  • Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, caraway seeds, bay leaves, crushed garlic, and red wine.
  • Put the lid on the pot, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 90 minutes. Meanwhile pour some wine for yourself, chill a little bit, do some self-care maybe. Up to you.
  • When the 90 minutes is up add the chopped vegetables and 2-2,5 l of water and the fresh chopped parsley. Cook it for another 60-90 minutes.


One portion provides 465 calories, 36 grams of protein, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of fat.


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