Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bavarian Goulash Soup

In the days when I was a journalist (and here you thought I was just another middle-aged face!), the newspaper where I worked had a test kitchen staffed by home economists. These women produced some extraordinary dishes under the fictitious byline of “Edith Adams.” This is one of the best dinner soups ever to come out of Edith Adams’ kitchen. Authentically European, it’s far superior to the Goulash my Austrian mother made. Truly, I cannot praise this outstanding recipe highly enough! Don’t omit a single ingredient: Each is essential to the soup’s full-bodied flavor.

Now the shocker: This soup takes 5-½-to-6 hours’ marination, cooking, and preparation time - but is so-o-o-o worth it!

This recipe requires extra time for marination

Bavarian Goulash Soup: 

2-to-3 lb. (1-1.5 kg) boneless chuck (“stewing beef”)
¾ c. white vinegar
6-¾ c. water, divided 
¼ c. oil 
3 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
5-½ fl. oz. (156 mL) can tomato paste
12 whole dried allspice berries
4 tbsp. paprika (see Note
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dried coriander 
½ tsp. caraway seeds
¼ tsp. pepper

Trim the chuck and cut into ¾-inch cubes. Combine vinegar and ¾ c. of the water; add meat and marinate 3 or 4 hours, turning occasionally. Heat oil in Dutch oven over low heat; add onions and garlic. Cover and cook over low heat until onions and garlic are soft, about 10 min. Add meat and vinegar marinade, cooking meat through on medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients, including the remaining 6 c. water. Cover and cook 2 hr. over low heat.

Remove lid and continue cooking on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 hr., until soup thickens. Soup will have reduced to about ⅔ its original volume, and meat will have disintegrated to thicken and flavor the broth. I garnish this soup with a dollop of sour cream and a little finely chopped green onion, but doing so is optional.

Note: Hungarian sweet paprika is best.

Start with fresh, nicely trimmed beef chuck 

Marinate meat several hours in vinegar and water

Chop in some onions 

Assemble and combine spices

Stir in spices and tomato paste

Simmer, uncovered, to intensify flavor and thicken soup
Serve hot, garnished with sour cream 


  1. Tried the recipe exactly as stated. Way too much
    vinegar, even after the cooking down. No flavor
    from the allspice berries (which I hunted out at the produce market) so I added a tsp of allspice
    towards the end. Liked the soup overall, but not
    a five-star.

    1. I'm sorry you didn't consider it a 5-star, Ann, but am glad you liked it overall. This is one of my favorite soups! I use dried allspice berries, Ann. They're available in the spice section of your supermarket. I'll clarify that in the recipe. xox icole


Want to find a long-lost favorite recipe? Want to submit one of yours, or simply leave a comment? Always happy to hear from you!