Hungarian goulash soup

Hungarian goulash soup recipe

Hungarian goulash soup is a beef dish cooked with onions, Hungarian paprika powder, tomatoes, and some green pepper. Carrot, parsley root, potatoes, and pinched noodles (csipetke in Hungarian) are also added.
Pasta or pastry dishes, especially the ones made with cottage cheese (pancake, dumplings, strudel) go down well after the heavy soup.


Ingredients for 4 people:

For the goulash soup:

400 grams of beef shank (14.1 ounces) – cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium or 2 large onions – diced
2 tablespoons lard or 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (sunflower)
2 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika powder
2 bay leaves
2 medium carrots – peeled and cut into 1⁄4 inch slices
1 medium parsley root or parsnip – peeled and cut into 1⁄4 inch slices
1 medium fresh tomato – chopped
1 sweet yellow pepper (or bell pepper, wax or banana pepper) – cut into small pieces
2-3 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into medium size cubes
1 clove of garlic – minced
1 teaspoon of ground caraway seeds
10 black peppercorns
Salt to taste

For the Csipetke (pinched) noodles:

  • 1 egg – beaten *(the amount of dough you can make with one egg is enough for a recipe for 12 people. I always use only about 1/3rd of one beaten egg.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • White flour – as much as necessary to create a firm, smooth dough


In a large soup pot, sauté the onions in vegetable oil or pork lard over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. Do not let them burn. Salt lightly to help tenderize them. The onions should be cut into very, very small pieces. This is essential in order to achieve the “stew consistency”. Add a small amount of water, if necessary, to keep them from sticking to the pan.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the sweet Hungarian paprika, stir. Add the tomatoes, the sweet yellow pepper and the meat, and stir again. Do not burn the paprika, or it will become bitter.

Add the bay leaves, the peppercorns, and about 7-8 cups (2 liters) of water. Salt to taste. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, adding water as necessary. It takes about 1.5-2 hours. If you use a pressure cooker add only 6 cups of water and cook for about 35-40 minutes or until tender.

Add the carrots, the parsley roots, the ground caraway seed, and the garlic. Salt to taste. Cover, bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Add the potatoes and the Csipetke (pinched noodles) when the vegetables are half tender and cook until the vegetables (including the potatoes) are tender. It takes about 5-8 minutes.

Csipetke (pinched noodles) can be cooked directly in the soup broth, or in plain water. It is a great accompaniment for goulash soup. Their name comes from the way they are formed.

In a medium bowl mix together the egg, the salt and the flour, and knead with your fingertips until a firm, smooth dough forms.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. You can use it immediately if you are in a hurry.
Pinch off small pieces of dough about the size of a lemon seed and roll them. Drop them into the soup and cook for about 5-8 minutes.