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Hearty and delicious Beef Goulash Soup includes tender chunks of beef and potatoes in a rich tomato and paprika broth.

Beef Goulash Soup

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.


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.

Beef Goulash Soup - A Family Feast

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.


Beef Goulash Soup

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:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Beef Goulash Soup

Beef Goulash Soup

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Category: stew
  • Method: braise
  • Cuisine: Hungarian


½ pound salt pork or uncured bacon, diced small

2 pounds chuck, cut into ½ inch pieces

4 cups onion, large dice

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika (regular paprika if this is not available)

½ bottle dark beer such as Guinness (3/4 cup)

1 ½ 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 ½ 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.

Keywords: goulash, beef



Beef Goulash Soup

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  • Tamara MCDonald wrote:

    Can I make this in the crockpot or transfer to the crockpot at a certain point if I want to make ahead?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tara – We’ve never tried this in the slow cooker. Given that this soup cooks uncovered on the stove, I don’t think you’ll get the same reduction or development of flavors by cooking it in the slow cooker – because the food essentially steams in a slow cooker. (Plus, in our opinion, the texture of cooked potatoes in a slow cooker are never quite right.) I’d personally make this as written and then reheat in the slow cooker if that’s what is needed.

  • Ali wrote:

    My husband lived in Germany for 4 years and always raved about the goulash soup there! I’ve tried several recipes that were bitter disappointments. This is THE goulash soup recipe!!! He just couldn’t stop eating it or praising it! I didn’t have parsley but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Thank you much!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Ali – you’re very welcome. We’re thrilled that the recipe was a hit!

  • Yam wrote:

    Would it be all right to not use the heat diffuser?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Yam – you’ll just want to stir the soup more often and avoid super high heat under the pot to avoid sticking/scorching on the bottom.

  • janet wrote:

    Would it matter if I left out the caraway seeds – just don’t like them! Thank you.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – You can leave them out if you prefer.

  • Delaine Buggs wrote:

    Great dish

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

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