I had no idea that Hungarian Gulyas was a soup! All my life I have enjoyed a thick, rich Hungarian Goulash STEW served over noodles. That is until Sparky and I were going to Budapest and I watched Rick Steves travel videos about Hungary. That’s when I learned this mouthwatering, paprika rich dish that is full of cubed beef,onions, peppers, potatoes, parsnips and carrots was meant to have a thinner broth and is definitely a soup! Then when we arrived in Budapes, everywhere we went, and I mean everywhere, there was Gulyas SOUP on the menu and oh…my…golly was it ever delicious! The Hungarian people love their Gulyas and so do we!
This picture is from the Hungarian Cookbook I brought home with me from Budapest.
When we visit a new country, I make a point of searching out a bookstore. Not hard to do as bookstores remain very popular in Europe. Just another reason I love the Continent. Why the bookstore you ask? Because I purchase a cook book with traditional recipes from each country I visit. The bookstores all carry cookbooks featuring traditional regional fare and they are printed in both the native tongue and in English. Makes it easy for me and it makes me a very happy tourist!
The secret to this marvelous main course soup is a ton of onion and peppers along with loads of Paprika to season the beef cubes. Then comes a lengthy simmer to let everything meld together as the beef becomes velvety soft. I wish I could credit someone with this recipe but interestingly, there is no author listed in the cook book! It is simply titled ” Hungarian Cuisine.” I followed the instructions as written but cut recipe in half and I still had 4 quarts of soup! I gotta tell you Sparky and I devoured big heaping bowls of this, the national soup of Hungary and I will be making it again and again.
This wonderful bowl of goodness is how my Gulyas looks!
Hungarian Gulyas ( Goulash) Soup
- 2 Lbs Beef Stew meat cut into bite sized dice.
- 2 Cups chopped Onions
- 1 large chopped Green Pepper Hungarian green pepper if available
- 3 TBSP Lard
- 3 Cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 Tsp Caraway Seeds crushed. I use a Mortar and Pestle
- 2 TBSP Sweet Hungarian Paprika available in large grocery stores in the USA
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp ground Black Pepper
- 1 Large Tomato chopped
- 2 Large Carrots sliced into bite size rounds
- 2 Large Parsnips sliced into bite size rounds
- 3 Large Potatoes about 2 lbs. Cut into bite sized dice.
- 2-1/2 Quarts Water
- Sour Cream for serving
- Assemble all your ingredients and get out a large soup kettle big enough to hold 4 quarts soup.
- Cut the Beef Stew meat into bite size pieces and set aside for a minute.
- Chop the Onions, Green Pepper and mince the Garlic.
- Melt Lard in the soup kettle over medium low heat. Add the Onions and Peppers and saute until the Onion is translucent but not brown. Add the Beef to the pan and cook until it is no longer visibly "red." ( My cook book says cook the beef until it is white! Something lost in translation there!)About 5 minutes or so. Stir this mixture often to prevent sticking and burning.
- Add the minced Garlic, Caraway Seed and the Paprika and stir until the meat and vegetables are evenly coated. Then quickly put in 2 Cups Water. Paprika will burn quickly and ruin the dish, so get that water in there!
- Bring this all to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pan and let simmer for 1-1/5 hours.
- Stir in the Tomatoes,Parsnips and Carrots, bring the soup back to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Pour in the 2-1/2 quarts water. Stir in the diced Potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Taste test to make sure the vegetables are done and the beef is tender. Adjust for seasoning as needed.
- Serve in nice big bowls with a big dollop of Sour Cream and get ready to enjoy a real Hungarian treat!