Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Hungarian Goulash Soup

Goulash, in my house growing up, was quite common although it took on many different characteristics.  Sometimes served over rice or egg noodles, it was casually called hamburger stroganoff and at times the word Hungarian was used (perhaps for company).  

A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for Hungarian Goulash Soup (minus any rice or pasta) in my Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook and a flood of memories filled my mind.

Goulash is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices.  Originating within the historical Hungarian ethnic area, goulash is a popular meal in central Europe, Scandinavia and Southern Europe.  The name originates from the Hungarian word "gulya" or herd of cattle.  In Hungarian, gulyas are herdsman.  Over time, the dish became gulyashus or goulash meat - that is to say, that the meat dish was prepared by herdsman.

American goulash, mentioned in cookbooks since at least 1914, exists in a numbers of variations.  Originally a dish of seasoned beef, the core ingredients of American goulash include elbow macaroni, cubed steak, ground beef and tomatoes in some form, either paste or diced.

Here is a slightly revised version of what I cooked a few weeks ago.


Hungarian Goulash Soup



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds beef chuck (I used tenderized stew meat) cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 small baby red potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
4 cups beef stock (1 large boxed container)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup light sour cream


Heat oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring often until lightly browned (about 8 minutes); add garlic and cook another minute.  Add beef and cook, stirring until browned (about 5 minutes)

Add bell pepper, paprika, oregano, caraway seeds and salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring until fragrant (about 1 minute), then add flour and cook into mixture for about 1 minute.  Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, covered and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Uncover pot and simmer for an additional 30 minutes; then remove from heat and add sour cream.

Image Courtesy of Google Images
Recipe Courtesy of Weight Watchers