Food Recipes

Hungarian Goulash Soup

From “Fireside Food for Cold Winter Nights: More than 75 Comforting and Warming Recipes” by Lizzie Kamenetzky (Ryland Peters & Small)
Photography by Nassima Rothacker copyright Ryland Peters & Small, 2015, 2021

“Fireside Food for Cold Winter Nights” can be purchased on Amazon or through


This Hungarian dish spread into the mountains, where it is always popular in the huts and cabins as a hearty meal on the slopes and trails. There is a healthy kick of paprika with the added richness of sour cream, which helps to make this one of the most warming and comforting dishes. This is also delicious made with pork instead of beef—use a slow-cook cut such as shoulder/butt and cut it into large chunks.


  • olive oil, to fry
  • 3 3⁄4 oz. (100g) smoked streaky/fatty bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 1⁄4 lb. (1kg) braising steak or beef shin, cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) chunks
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers/bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée/paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 5 cups (1.2 liters) beef stock
  • 11 oz. (300g) waxy potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 beetroot/beets, cut into chunks
  • sea salt and ground
  • black pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley and sour cream, to serve


Heat a good layer of olive oil in a flameproof casserole or large saucepan and fry the bacon over medium heat until starting to color. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Dust the beef in the flour with plenty of seasoning, then brown in batches over high heat in the same pan, adding more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside with the bacon.

Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onions and peppers/bell peppers. Fry for 10 minutes until softened and the onions start to color. Add the garlic, juniper, bay, and spices, and fry for a few minutes before adding the tomato purée/paste, vinegar, and stock.

Return the beef and bacon to the pan and season well. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours until the beef is starting to become really tender.

Add the potatoes and beetroot/beets to the pan and simmer, with the lid off, until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the parsley and serve in large warmed bowls with generous dollops of sour cream.