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Without Goulash Soup, no Hungarian cooking

Without Goulash Soup, no Hungarian cooking

It is fall here in New Hampshire. Comfort foods are back on the menu. Hungarian goulash soup would warm you up with its delicious sweet and hot paprika flavors. Hungarians cook this meal outdoors in a kettle, and they serve the soup in small kettles for a dinner party:

Korona Restaurant

Goulash originates from the 9th century Hungarian shepherds cooking. You could call it the first Hungarian instant “soup” or beef jerky! The shepherds cooked and spiced the meat, then sun-dried it. (Paprika of course only became the spice in the 16th century.) They used bags made from sheep’s stomachs to store the food. Added water and voila – let them have soup! Serve the soup with “Csipetke” – easy handmade pinched fresh pasta –see below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Hungarian Goulash Soup

Makes 4-6 servings 

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced small
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp caraway or cumin seeds
  • 1 lbs beef shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into ½inch cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 TBSP Hungarian sweet paprika (or dry groundsweet chili pepper)
  • 1 carrot, peeled, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled, sliced
  • 1-2 green or red peppers, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Vegeta
  • 2 tsp chilli pepper, or a half Jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • water
  • 1 cup Hungarian pinched noodles (“Csipetke”) seerecipe below


  1. Heat 1 TBSP oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and ½ tsp of the salt and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Add caraway seed and sautee for 1 min. Then add paprika and garlic, and sautee for 30 sec. Set aside.
  2. In another large pot heat the other 1 TBSP oil with the cubed beef on high heat. Stir constantly, till it produces water. Sauté on high until meat is brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, stirring time to time. Set aside.
  3. Turn heat to medium for the pot with meat, add carrots, capsicums, parsnips and sauté stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour onion mix to meat, and immediately cover stew with water.
  5. Add tomatoes, Vegeta, chilli pepper. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits at bottom of pot. Reduce heat to low; simmer until meat is just tender, about 40 minutes.
  6. When meat is almost tender, add 3 cups water, and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Season with salt as needed.
  7. Add Csipetke pasta, and simmer the soup for 5 minutes more.
  8. Serve with chopped parsley in bowls.

Csipetke (Pinched Pasta)

  • ½ cup flour, plus as needed
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • water if needed
  • 2 TBSP flour to sprinkle preparation surface


  1. Beat the egg with fork in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the eggs with the flour to make a stiff dough.  (Add a small amount flour or water if needed.)
  3. Pinch small peas sized pieces from the dough, and drop them over a floured surface to dry a bit before boiling them.
  4. Boil them in salted water or the soup 5 minutes. They are cooked when they rise to the surface.

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