Goulash Soup

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When it is cold outside I love eating spicy, heartwarming soups because that healthy salad isn’t going to warm up my toes. A winter warmer soup with bold flavors is amazingly delicious and comforting. These soups are great lunch or dinner alternatives, one of life’s simple treats. There is a wide range of winter soups & broths for you to choose from Hungarian cuisine. No doubt, goulash soup perfectly represents Hungarian gastronomy. It is famous all around the world and foreigners frequently ask for it while staying in Hungary.

Goulash is a rich and spicy soup. It is made of meat, noodles and vegetables, seasoned with the well-known Hungarian paprika and other spices. It’s so filling that it’s not even like a soup, more like a one-pot meal for superheroes. There are regional variations; the culinary lexicon describes about fifty!!! types of goulash.

This mouth-watering version that I would like to share with you guys, is a basic recipe that I learnt from my mom. I think she is a very talented home cook. She learnt many cooking tricks from her father. My grandfather had 9 siblings and grew up in poverty without a father figure (his father died in World War I). So my late great-grandmother was probably an excellent magician in the kitchen who knew how to fill the hungry tummies of her 10 children. 

To make a long story short, here is one recipe of the fifty “shades” of goulash.

Ingredients for four:


  • 400 gr beef, cubed
  • tablespoon oil or lard
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 piece of celery
  • 1 fresh tomato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, sliced
  • 4 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian red paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, black pepper to taste

Noodles (csipetke):

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour

How to prepare:

  1. First cut the meat into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Then chop the onion into small pieces and lightly fry them in oil in a pot until it gets golden yellow.
  3. Add beef cubes to the frying onion and cook for about ten minutes.
  4. When the beef cubes gets brown on all sides add sliced tomato and pepper.
  5. Cook them under a lid until the vegetables become almost tender.
  6. Then lower the heat and remove the pot from the heat.
  7. Add one tablespoon of red paprika and stir it quickly. Removing the pot is important so that the paprika won’t get burnt.
  8. Keep on stirring and add salt, ground cumin, black pepper and small amount of cold water.
  9. Return to low heat and simmer, stir it occasionally.
  10. In the meantime, peel and chop the carrots, the parsnip and the potatoes into cubes and put them into the pot.
  11. Add in as much water as you need to cover everything in the bowl and cook on low heat until everything becomes tender.

Now it’s time to prepare csipetke. I find it the most difficult part of cooking goulash soup. Because this homemade soup pasta called csipetke is a cross between noodles and dumplings.

  1. Mix the egg with flour and salt.
  2. Roll it out on a flour covered board, then with your fingers dipped in flour pinch small fingernail-size bits out of it.
  3. Then add all the little csipetke to the boiling soup and stir.
  4. Csipetke is cooked when it emerges to the surface of the soup in about 2-3 minutes.

Now the goulash is ready to serve. Hungarians eat it with slices of bread. Enjoy your meal!

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