Goulash Soup & Crusty Bread

As you may know by my previous Hungarian entry I absolutely adore Hungarian food, I have my past tales about a restaurant and family / important events happening around Hungarian flavours, and it means comfort food at the highest for me.

This Goulash Soup was one of the first dishes I got to know in the Hungarian cuisine and since then is my favourite. Hearty, heavily spiced and utterly delicious it’s like a warm hug in a cold day.

This dish is so forgiving it can be made thick and rustic as a stew but also more refined and delicate as a soup, it depends on your taste and whether you are going to serve it as an entrée or main.

Feel free to adjust to your liking, in which case if you are serving it as a soup I suggest cutting meat pieces to no more than 2 cm dices, and if you prefer a hearty stew use roughly 5 cm pieces or bigger.

Goulash Stew can be served with Hungarian noodles aka Nokedli , but can also be served with a side of steamed rice or with Crusty Bread (which is more suitable to serve as a small meal or entrée)

Normally you will need to stew this in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, for roughly 2 to 3 hours to tender the meat if using cheap cuts, or use a pressure cooker (if using a pressure cooker you will need to adjust water amount and after the meat is tender let the sauce thicken for further 20min), or choose a more tender cut and adjust the cooking time to 1 hr until meat almost falls apart.

Ingredients are pretty straight forward, and you don’t need to chop them too neatly as they are going to melt into the sauce, so I am going to skip directly to the recipe.

Goulash Soup & Crusty Bread

Recipe by KeymaCourse: Main, EntreeCuisine: Hungarian, Central EuropeDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Crusty Bread (make ahead to let rest while soup cooks)
  • 3 c all purpose flour (more may be needed)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp dry yeast or instant yeast

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 1/2 c warm water

  • 1 tbsp caraways seeds (optinal)

  • Goulash soup
  • 800g beef diced (you can use lean of cheaper cuts like chuck cook accordingly see previous note)

  • 2 tbsp beef fat (butter or oil)

  • 2 brown onions diced

  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 2 capsicums, diced

  • 1 red chili deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 diced canned tomato

  • 2 carrots peeled and diced to 2 cm chunks

  • 2 potatoes peeled and diced to 2 cm chunks

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 c Hungarian sweet paprika

  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 6 c beef broth (adjust to half if using pressure cooker)

  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds

  • Sour cream (optional to topped soup)


  • Crusty Bread
  • If using dry yeast: Combine warm water with sugar and yeast and let sit for about 10 min until frothy. And then combined yeasted water with Flour and salt kneading until a sticky ball forms, add caraway seeds doesn’t need to be kneaded much.
  • If using instant yeast: add granulated yeast directly to flour, with sugar, caraway seeds and salt, make a well and ad the warm water mixing until you incorporate all water and a sticky dough forms, knead for a couple of minutes more.
  • Let rest in a warm place (if you have a cold kitchen turn oven to the lowest setting and let it warm then turn off and let your dough rest covered in the oven) for about 1-2 hours to develop flavour and rise or until doubled in size. Be careful with the instant yeast as this one actives more quickly than the active yeast and can become over proof quite easily, check dough at 45min.
  • Punch the dough and turn in a well floured place, fold dough onto itself into a ball shape, and turn to hide the folds underneath.
  • Preheat your oven to 230C (needs to be very hot), and leave a pizza stone or thick baking tray inside to heat for at least half an hour. Take out and cover with flour and place the loaf in the preheated stone.
  • Fill a oven proof bowl with 5 cm of water and place on the lower rack, this will help add steam to your oven, (if you have a steam function turn it on).
  • Cook the loaf in the middle rack for 35-45min until deep brown and crusty, when you tap the bread sounds hollow.
  • Goulash soup
  • Season beef with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a heavy bottom deep pot, (or dutch oven), add lard (use butter or oil), and sear beef until starting to get golden brown. You may need to do this in batches to avoid steaming the beef from overcrowding in the pot.
  • Remove beef pieces and set aside.
  • Add garlic, onion, capsicum, and chilli, to the pot and sauté for 3 min, this will help deglasing the pot as vegetables release moisture.
  • Add tomato paste and cook slightly for about 1 min, add paprika and smoked paprika and let bloom for about a min (be careful as paprika can scorch easily which will turn your dish very bitter).
  • Pour canned tomatoes over veggies and bring to boil, return beef to the pot, add beef stock, bay leaf and caraway seeds.
  • Let simmer until beef is tender (see previous note this might take 1 -3 hours depending on beef cut), sauce will reduce and thicken but if beef is not ready yet top up with extra water or stock until done.
  • Once beef is tender add potatoes and carrots and let cook for 20 min until fork tender.
  • Adjust seasoning.


  • Pressure cooker: Season beef, Brown beef in a pan, deglaze pan with some stock, in the pressure cooker add veggies (except carrot and potatoes), browned beef, stock, paprika, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, deglazed mixture and stock till the beef is just covered, close and cook on high pressure until beef is tender this can take anywhere between 35min to an hour depending on your cut of beef and pressure cooker. Open pressure cooker, and change settings to saute and add carrots and potatoes, (top up with stock if sauce is too thick) cook for 20 min until vegetables are fork tender and sauce has reduce to a thick consistency.