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Zsolt's Goulash Soup Recipe - Hungarian Gulyas Leves

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Hungarian Goulash Soup or Gulyas Leves

Hungarian Goulash Soup or Gulyas Leves

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Hungarian goulash soup or gulyas leves (GOO-yahsh LEH-vesh) is from Zsolt Vegh of Northwest Indiana. It's hearty enough to be eaten as a main course with rye bread. This soup benefits from a long, slow cook and is actually a goulash, which is a stew, to which more liquid has been added. Traditional gulyas leves is made with beef or veal.

Here is a larger photo of goulash soup.

Makes 8 servings of Hungarian Goulash Soup or Gulyas Leves

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds cubed beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 parsley roots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 small bunch parsley, tied with butcher's twine
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Vegeta seasoning (see below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 2 Hungarian wax peppers or banana wax peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Pinch hot Hungarian paprika
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown onions in bacon fat or vegetable oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Salt the onions lightly to help tenderize them. Add a small amount of water, if necessary, to keep them from sticking to the pan.

  2. Turn the heat to high and add the meat cubes and sweet Hungarian paprika and stir constantly for about 3 minutes or until the meat has been seared on all sides. Add water to cover by an inch and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, adding water, as necessary, to keep it above the level of the meat. This can take up to 2 hours.

  3. Add the carrots, parsley roots, bunch of parsley, potatoes (if using), Vegeta, caraway seeds (if using), banana wax peppers, and hot paprika. Bring back to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart. Add additional water, if necessary, to keep a soup consistency. Add salt to taste.

  4. Serve over Hungarian csipetke or nokedli dumplings.
    User Reviews

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     5 out of 5
    Goulash Soup Recipe, Member finnishgirl1

    This is a wonderful recipe; reminiscent of my childhood and my beautiful Finnish-Hungarian grandparents. I was always told goulash is a SOUP, not a stew. We substitute red peppers for the Hungarian wax peppers, however. We always have a side dish of hot, homemade spaetzels, which we add to the top of the steaming soup and had dark pumpernickel or rye bread to accompany this dish. I have had a great many recipies for goulash over the years (and even got one from a hotel in Budapest), but yours is, by far, the best.

    19 out of 21 people found this helpful.

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