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Hungarian Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves)

September 3, 2014

Gulyásleves is a rich and aromatic soup filled with hearty vegetables, beef, sweet Hungarian paprika, parikacrem, petite little dumplings and lots of fresh parsley is sure to warm you up and cures what ails you this fall.

Hungarian Goulash Soup- Bam's Kitchen

My dear friend, Anna, showed me how to make this traditional Hungarian soup just like her mother and grandmother used to make. Anna is from Hungary and is a beautiful musician and conductor. I love listening to her music and was very lucky to have her as a next door apartment neighbour for a few months.  She is even a better cook!

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Anna brought with her a little taste of Hungary with her on her arrival to Hong Kong. She had homemade freshly ground Hungarian Paprika. It is vibrant red/orange colour and makes all of your dishes taste amazing.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Anna also brought with her a few tubes of "Paprikacrem" that is a wonderful combination of roasted peppers, chilis and tomatoes and not like anything I have ever tasted before. I think this would be very difficult to replicate but it tastes similar to tomato paste mixed with pureed roasted red peppers and pureed roasted red chilis and salt. So if you wanted to make this dish and cannot find paprikacrem, then this would be my exchange.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Anna started off making a Pörkölt which is a stew with boneless meat, paprika, tomato, onion, garlic, paprika creme and paprika and already her house smelled amazing.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Then after she added the potatoes, carrots, water and dumpling it was a rich and aromatic  Hungarian goulash. Hungarian goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary. Hungarian goulash is a stew with more gravy or a soup using meat, paprika, vegetables and potato and tiny dumplings simmered along with the meat. I know that some people add caraway seeds to the soup base but this was not in her families recipe, instead they used the fragrant and delicious paprikacrem.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

My favourite part of the soup is making the dumplings.  They are sweet little petite dumplings made simply with eggs, salt and just enough flour so that it makes a soft drop biscuit. These biscuits are tender and float to the top when they are done and make the Gulyásleves a hearty and delicious soup.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Anna has moved to Hong Kong and could find the parsley roots anywhere that she used to find in Hungary as this was part of her families' Gulyásleves recipe . So we exchanged with lots of extra flat leaf fresh parsley in her soup and it was lovely. Anna also used the Hungarian brand of vegetable bouillon powder called "Vegeta"  but you could exchange with your favourite brand of vegetable powder. I brought Anna over some fresh parsnips, thinking they were the same product. I was wrong.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bam's Kitchen

Just as a FYI, parsley root and parsnip are similar in appearance, but they are two completely different vegetables. Root parsley tastes like parsley. Parsnips have a taste all of their own and are kind of sweet. There's also a difference in how the leaves are arranged at the top of the root.  Root parsley has leaves sporadically on top of the root.  However, parsnips leaves are in a tidily inside a ring, much like that of carrots. Root parsley is usually around 11-12 inches long and parsnips are similar to the length of a carrot. The root parsley is rather thin, like a carrot. Parsnips are sometimes double the diameter of carrots.

Hungarian Goulash Soup-Bams' Kitchen

I hope that your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family did. I highly recommending doubling this recipe if you have hungry teenagers at home as they will love this comforting soup after a stressful back to school day.

Thank you so much Anna for a lovely lunch and tutorial on how to make one of Hungary's most loved dishes, Gulyásleves.



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Hungarian Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves)

By HWC Magazine  , , ,   

September 3, 2014

Gulyásleves is a rich and aromatic soup filled with hearty vegetables, beef, sweet Hungarian paprika, parikacrem, petite little dumplings and lots of fresh parsley

Recipe Courtesy of Anna Feher

  • Cook: 1 hr


Hungarian Goulash Soup Base

oil - 1 tablespoon (sunflower or other light tasting oil)

onion - 1 medium chopped

garlic - 3 finely chopped

vegetable bouillon powder - 1 teaspoon (we used the Hungarian Vegeta brand but you can use whatever vegetable powder you like)

paprika - 3 heaping teaspoons of Hungarian Paprika

tomatoes - 1 cup fresh chopped (we used little cherry tomatoes and cut in half)

beef - 2 eye of beef steaks

white pepper - to taste

water - 6-8 cups (part for covering beef to simmer and rest to make the soup)

carrots - 3 peeled and sliced in about 1/4 inch slices

potatoes - 2 large peeled and chopped

parsley - handful of flat leaf parsley chopped

Petite Dumplings

egg - 1 egg

salt - to taste

flour - 2-3 tablespoons or just enough to make a thick paste)


1Add sunflower oil to a big soup pot along with onions and garlic until sweated off.

2Take the pan off the heat and add paprika and mix. Then add tomatoes, beef and a little white pepper and place back on the burner to cook.

3Add just enough water to cover meat and decrease the heat down to a medium simmer. Cook until tomatoes break down and you can no longer see it, about 20 minutes. You could extend this time if you wished to make the meat more tender with a low and slow cook.

4Add the rest of water, about 6-8 cups and bring to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes and handful of parsley and cook until vegetables are fork tender.

5Make the petite dumplings: In a little bowl beat one egg and add a pinch of salt and about 2-3 tablespoons of flour or just enough flour to make a thick paste pasta dough.

6Drop the pasta into the Hungarian Goulash Soup with just about a teaspoon of pasta dough at a time. The pasta will float up to the top when cooked.

7Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread and enjoy. (Anna liked to garnish her Gulyásleves with a little bit of spicy paprika sauce but I loved it just liked it was, rich and flavorful)


  • Gosh those step by step photos are making me wish it was dinnertime now! This looks so deliciously warming and hearty !

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Carolyn. I always crave soups in the fall and this one certainly hit the spot. Take care

  • What a wonderful friend and recipe Bam. Beautifully rich and flavourful.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Mandy, we were very blessed to have Anna and her family living next to us for a few months. I will pass your kind message on to her.

  • I love goulash and all its variations from country to country! Yours look very hearty and filling Bobbi!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I also love seeing all of the variations in this dish. I adore Anna’s recipe as it is very rich and aromatic and those little petite dumplings make it hearty too.

  • What a stunning colour my friend, this goulash is a must try – it looks delicious 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you CCU. It does have a gorgeous color from Anna’s fresh Hungarian paprika and the paprikacrem. She has all kinds of natural light coming in through her kitchen window and I love it, such wish we did.

  • This is a gorgeous goulash! I personally love paprika creme and use it in just about everything… The little dumplings are to die for…

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello and thank you Mimi. This is Anna’s recipe. I was just photographer, sous chef, documenter and QA tester. Where do you get your paprikacrem from in the US? Do you have a specialty store you go to?

  • I’m drooling over this! I love Goulash soup 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Tandy. I will pass your kind words on to Anna.

  • kitchenriffs

    I love this dish! And make it, but my recipe is somewhat different. I definitely need to try this version — it looks terrific, and that color just knocks my socks off! Very nice — thanks.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello John, it is so very fun to see the differences in their family recipe of making goulash. I will have to stop by your site to check out your family’s version too. This is a great fall/winter dish as it warms you from the inside to out.

  • This soup Has such a beautiful vibrant color! I’ve never had Hungarian Goulash Soup. Now im anxious to givev it a try!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Sandra, we were very blessed to have natural light coming in from the kitchen window this day. I know Anna would be delighted if you gave her recipe a try.

  • POW! That’s a soup with a big red punch. Lovely stuff BAM. I am tempted to end on BAM! POW! But, that would be childish, would it not?

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Conor, thanks so much. I am envisioning Adam West is his leotard… LOL Have a super weekend. BAM

  • OMG, this looks so incredible!!! I love goulash, and must make this!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Your girls would love this Dawn. This is a great soup to pop in the crock pot whilst you are at work and then when you come home from work just drop the biscuits and cook and add the parsley just before serving.

  • What a great cooking lesson this is for me. I’ve never had goulash soup and after reading this, it’s all I want right now. I’m already thinking about soup with Fall approaching (despite the hot temps currently) and this one looks amazing – those little dumplings! I can see why a double batch is not only recommended but probably just necessary! Please thank your friend, Anna, for sharing her lovely recipe.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Monica! I will be sure to pass your kind words on to Anna. It is also still very hot in HK but very damp and this dish just hits the spot on those days.

  • Liz

    The temps will dip next week…it might even be soup weather! Your Hungarian soup looks terrific….and I’m always a sucker for dumplings 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Liz, will pass on your message on to Anna. I just called my family in Michigan and they said something like 387,000 people are out of power after a big storm passed by. The weather is starting to change. Take care , BAM

  • This looks fabulous…somehow comforting…I love the petite dumplings…it sure a hearty soup.
    Great pictures as always Bobbi…hope you are having a fantastic week 😀

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Juliana. Don’t you just love those little petite dumplings so fun to make and also eat!?!

  • hotlyspiced

    I have never heard of root parsley! I do love parsnips. How lovely to have a talented neighbour who not only plays music but also cooks. The boneless stew looks amazing xx

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Charlie, I had never heard of root parsley before either. I thought it might be a translational issue and brought Anna parsnips but that is not it, they are two different veggies. I know that when you add the fresh parsley to the soup it really makes the dish complete so the root parley would makes this dish even better-over the top. I guess we will have to visit Hungary to be able try root parsley.

  • This looks so good, and I can almost taste the lovely flavors just from the photos. I love the idea of the paste with the tomatoes and peppers – maybe we’ll be able to get that here eventually. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Donalyn, that you for your kind comment. I hope that you can find paprikacrem in a market near you. I have conversed with some people around the world and it is available in some specialty markets and once they tell me where they get it, I will pass the information on to you. Take Care, BAM

  • This looks nothing like the goulash I grew up eating. This looks so much more flavorful and delicious. How fun you were able to exchange recipes. The dumplings would definitely make this a winner for me. 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Kristy, I would be interested to hear about your families goulash. Is it posted on your website? I love reading new recipes as each one does it slightly different but all so very delicious. Your children would love the dumplings. A great soup for the start of the new school year.

  • You have met so many interesting and talented people in Hong Kong, and from such diverse cultures. I envy you’re experiences there and love how you’re embracing the experience. You just can’t get a more authentic Hungarian goulash than this one and I can see it disappearing in a flash.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Diane, I feel so blessed to have met some many beautiful friends and to have the opportunity to mix with many new cultures and learn so much. There are so many opportunities in the world and enjoying every minute of it. I think one of the best ways to learn about a new culture is to learn the language and make family traditional recipes. Now the whole language part is difficult but learning how to make a new dish is a joy. Take Care, BAM

  • This soup looks very hearty and delicious – perfect for the upcoming fall weather coming our way!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you amy. I will pass your kind message on to Anna.

  • I love the name of the soup! and somehow looks so comforting and delicious!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I think this is the perfect soup to curl up on the sofa with and a good book/kindle and enjoy.

  • So happy to see goulash again! I loved it the first time I came to know about this dish. Flavourful with tender beef! Ahhh…

    Gourmet Getaways

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Julie. There is just something about fall that makes my body crave warm and aromatic soups and stews. Have a super weekend

  • My father’s eyes would light up if he saw this. Food from the old country!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Abbe, you should make this dish for your dad next time you see him. All of your dishes are wonderful so he would love anything you made him and he would ask for seconds.

  • You are lucky for having such a nice, talented neighbor. Lovely soup with so much flavors.

    • Bams Kitchen

      We are blessed to have had some many beautiful neighbors while living here in Hong Kong. Anna is such a sweetheart.

  • Kumar’s Kitchen

    Oh such a heart warming stew…we have had varied Gulyas before…at home we usually make it with double beans,carrots and dumplings….but this is what we would be making staple at home from now….it tastes heavenly,thanks for such amazing recipes 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you. I think everyone has their own version of Gulyasleves and it is so fun hearing about all the differences as all of them are delicious. The addition of beans sounds delightful and would make it extra hearty and filling. Take Care, BAM

  • shashi @

    Thanks so much for sharing with us what you learned from your wonderful neighbor – I had never heard of Pörkölt or Paprikacrem or hungarian goulash! That Paprikacrem sounds pretty incredible and your photos of this soup are making me want soup – at 10.40am!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Shashi, so glad that we could introduce you to a new dish. 10:40am is perfect timing for a bowl of soup, call it brunch.

  • What beautifully plated and photographed dishes!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you so much. I am trying but still have so much to learn about food photography.

  • Buona notte, BAM! What a great dish! I’ve not prepared goulash in ages and this soup sounds wonderful. I frequent a couple of Eastern European groceries and wonder if I could find Paprikacrem in any of them. It certainly would be worth looking for. I got a chuckle with your suggestion of doubling the recipe if teenage boys are in the house. I bet you could triple it and barely have any leftovers. Gosh, to have that metabolism again!
    Hope you’re havng a wonderful weekend, BAM!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Buona Notte John! I am delighted that you like this dish. I certainly hope that you can find Paprikacrem as it really is gorgeous. My friend Anna says that is even wonderful on sandwiches. I can just imagine it with some grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella and a little Paprikacrem and that sounds divine. I so wish that I had the metabolism of a 16 year old athletic boy, I would be anorexic.. LOL Take Care, BAM

  • Gulyash is perfect for autumn cold days! Very comforting dish!

  • Now I can’t wait for cooler weather to try this.It looks wonderful!

    • Bams Kitchen

      It is of course been flaming hot here in HK but very damp and for some reason this soup just hits the spot. Take Care, BAM

  • What a lucky family to have this made for you! Yum!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I agree Courtney, we are blessed! Have a super week.

  • Such a mouthwatering-soup! I so love your photo, Bam!

  • I love goulash soup and have it often when we travel to Germany and Austria. This Hungarian version is very different and I’m sure delicious.

  • I bet the smell of that stewing is amazing! I love hearty stews like that

  • I will definitely try this and take your suggestion of doubling it. I love leftovers!

  • All the ingredients and flavors in this soup really speak to me. I love the petite dumplings! What a perfect dish to make going into the autumnal season. I’ve heard of the paprikacrem but haven’t seen it here yet. It sounds like a fun ingredient to play with.

  • This sounds like a wonderful soup–perfect for fall!

  • This looks delicious and I can almost taste the lovely flavors just from the photos. Very comforting dish!

  • What a beautiful color and I love those little dumplings that you add to finish off the soup. Your soup has me wishing for cooling weather. That Paprikacrem sounds delicious. Need to keep an eye out for that!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello MJ, isn’t it amazing how brilliant the soup looks with the bright paprika and paprika cream? You so need to find yourself some of this paprikacrem as it is amazing stuff.

  • Wow! I love this recipe! Great job! I’d die to taste it!

  • I’ve never had Gulyásleves before but this sure does look amazingly delicious! Seriously, I need a napkin to wipe my drool. 😉
    Have a lovely weekend, my friend!

  • This looks like a wonderful soup for the upcoming fall and winter!!

  • What a wonderful soup. The colors are gorgeous! Recipes learned from friends are always the most cherished ones!

  • I’m sad to say I’ve never tried Hungarian Goulash soup before. It looks really nice, especially on a rainy day (first rain in a long time!). I got totally inspired by your soup dish…I would love to try this soup one day. Something different from soups I’ve been cooking. 🙂

  • Une soupe bien appétissante !

  • Catherine

    Just stumbled upon this recipe! After our trip to Budapest this summer, I’ve been looking for a traditional Hungarian Goulash soup recipe. We brought back paprika from Hungary. Cannot wait to try this one!! Thank you Bobbi!

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