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Hearty and delicious Beef Goulash Soup includes tender chunks of beef and potatoes in a rich tomato and paprika broth.
It’s April – and really – we SHOULD be starting to think about outdoor grilling, cookouts, and other warm weather foods. But Mother Nature is still sending some cold and blustery weather our way (and more snow is in the forecast too)! ☹
So instead – we’re still enjoying hearty delicious comfort food like this Beef Goulash Soup.
What is Goulash?
Goulash is a Hungarian soup of meat and vegetables that is seasoned with paprika and other seasonings. It’s a popular meal throughout Europe dating back hundreds of years, and many cultures have their own version of this delicious dish – some thick and stew-like, others more brothy. (This recipe also shouldn’t be confused with American Chop Suey – which is called Goulash by many people!)
Our Beef Goulash Soup is loosely adapted from one of our favorite soup cookbooks, “Book of Soups” by the Culinary Institute of America.
How do you make Beef Goulash Soup?
Tender chunks of beef are seared in the flavorful, rendered fat from salt pork. Then, it is combined with sautéed onions to braise until tender in an amazing, rich broth made with pureed tomatoes, dark beer, and beef stock. Lots of different spices and herbs are added to the broth including the sweet Hungarian paprika (of course) plus caraway seeds, marjoram, dry thyme, parsley, garlic and bay leaves. Finally – once the beef is fork-tender – diced yellow potatoes are added to the pot and cooked through.
To serve your Beef Goulash Soup, ladle the soup into a bowl or crock. Spoon a dollop of sour cream on top, then a generous sprinkle of chopped fresh scallions. A slice of Russian rye or pumpernickel bread also goes nicely with this dish.
You may also like these other hearty comfort foods:
- American Chop Suey
- Beef Stew with Dumplings
- Matunuck Oyster Bar Stew
- Kapusta (Polish Cabbage Soup)
- Scottiglia (Mixed Meat Stew)
1/2 pound salt pork or uncured bacon, diced small
2 pounds chuck, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups onion, large dice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika (regular paprika if this is not available)
1/2 bottle dark beer such as Guinness (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups pureed tomatoes (Cento canned kitchen ready is what we used)
6 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons marjoram
2 teaspoons dry thyme
8 parsley stems
4 medium peeled garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Sour cream, for serving
Chopped scallion greens, for garnish
Russian rye or pumpernickel bread, for serving
In a 5 ½ quart Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook salt pork until crisp then remove to a large bowl, leaving fat in the pot.
Sear the beef in three batches for about 3-4 minutes per batch. Remove each batch to the same bowl as the salt pork.
Add the onions, lower the heat to medium and stir to combine. Then add the beef and salt pork over the top of the onions. After about five minutes stir and cook for another three minutes.
Add the vinegar and cook to evaporate, about two minutes.
Add the flour and paprika and cook for three minutes, using a wooden spoon to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Add the beer and mix to combine, scraping any brown bits from the pan bottom.
Add the tomatoes and the stock and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
While the pot heats, place caraway, marjoram, thyme, parsley stems, garlic and bay leaves in a piece of cheese cloth and secure with twine and add to the pot.
Once heated, reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes being careful not to let it stick to the bottom. For the last 15 minutes, we put a heat diffuser under the pot. (see here)
After the beef cooks for 45 minutes, add the potatoes and cook 20-25 minutes longer or until the potatoes are cooked through. Make sure to use the heat diffuser and stir to keep it from sticking. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove and discard spice bag.
Serve with sour cream and scallions on top, and Russian rye or pumpernickel bread on the side.
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