Goulash Soup

is a chef, food photographer, cookbook author and blogger.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.

You can find my goulash soup recipe in this post.

For a 100% sure-fire cooking experience, I’ve prepared comprehensive instructions for you.

In many cooking blogs we are taught “simple cooking”, yet the creator often lacks cooking knowledge and expertise.

When preparing goulash and goulash soup, unfortunately, you can do a lot of things wrong.

This summary should enable you to cook a fine homemade goulash soup.

Discover here all the chef tips I have collected in 30 years as a chef between Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest and Zurich.

Have fun reading and tasting, in addition I wish you much success in the kitchen!

1. Recipe Goulash Soup

Here you will find the step by step instructions with many photos.

This time there are many goulash pictures :-), which gives you the perfect overview.

You’ll find more cooking tips and info on the popular stew after the recipe.

Would you like to write to me? Is there a question left or do you feel like having a chat in the kitchen?

You can send me your cooking questions and nice kitchen gossip via the comment function at the bottom of the page.

Goulash soup

Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 6
Calories 347
Total Time 170 Min.
Preparation Time 50 Min.
Cook Time 120 Min.

Instructions for preparing original goulash soup in variants.

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Goulash Soup Recipe Image
Goulash soup served in a copper pot. Recipe picture © Thomas Sixt


500 g beef goulash meat (goulash meat)
450 g onion
60 g plant oil
1 tsp brown cane sugar
50 g paprika nobel sweet
2 tbsp tomato paste
2,5 l Beef broth (I use bone broth)
4 Piece marrow bones
2 tbsp majoram
1 tbsp Caraway
1 Piece Lemon
4 Piece glove of garlic
1 tbsp corn starch
400 g potato
4 Piece Red peppers
2 Pinches primal salt
4 Pinches Pepper black, ground
3 Pinches brown cane sugar
4 Pinches Chili
1 Bunch fresh parsley


Prepare goulash soup

Bone broth cooked
Bone broth cooked

Prepare bone broth

Prepare a bone broth, alternatively you can use beef broth.

For bone broth, you can find an easy recipe elsewhere.

Goulash soup ingredients
Goulash soup ingredients

Prepare ingredients

Prepare the ingredients for the goulash soup in the kitchen.

Cut beef goulash soup
Cut beef goulash soup

Cutting beef

Cut the beef into 1 cm cubes.

Goulash soup beef cubes on the cutting board
Goulash soup beef cubes on the cutting board

Provide beef

Place the sliced beef in a bowl.

Onion peeled
Onion peeled

Peel onion

Halve the onions and then peel them.

Remove unsightly parts of the onion.

Leave the roots on the onion halves.

Dice the onion
Dice the onion

Dice onion

Dice the onion:

To do this, place the onion half on the board.

Cut the onion vertically and horizontally towards the root.

Then finely dice the onion.

You can find a detailed description in the cooking school dicing onions.

onion cubes
Onion cubes on the cutting board

Provide onions

Place the diced onions on the board or in a bowl.

Onion cubes before sweating
Onion cubes before sweating over the pot in a bowl

Prepare pot

Kupfertopf von Falk Culinair verwendet.

Die vorbereiteten Zwiebelwürfel in das heiße Öl geben.


Prepare a large saucepan and heat on the stove with the vegetable oil.

I used the Falk Culinair copper pot .

Put the prepared onion cubes in the hot oil.

Sweat onions
Sauté onions in copper pot

Sweat onions

Sweat the onion cubes in the pot for 12 minutes.

Stir constantly.

Golden caramelized onions
Golden brown caramelized onions in a pot

Brown onions

Brown the onions until golden.

Add sugar to onions
Add sugar to onions

Add sugar

Add the sugar to the onions.

I used a level teaspoon on that amount of onions.

onions with sugar
Golden brown sautéed onions with sugar close-up

Caramelize onions

Sauté the onions again and mix with the sugar.

Let the sugar caramelize.

Golden caramelized onions
Golden brown caramelized onions in a pot

Finish onions

After approx. 4 minutes cooking time, the onions have taken on a golden yellow, nice and even colour,

Sweat the meat and onion
Sweat the meat and onion

Add meat

Add the prepared meat to the onions and stir.

Maintain the heat in the pot.

Add sweet paprika to the goulash soup starter
Add sweet paprika to the goulash soup starter

Add paprika powder

Add the paprika powder and spread over the goulash starter.

Goulash soup approach with paprika
Goulash soup approach with paprika


Stir the paprika once, then remove the pot from the heat.

Add tomato paste to the goulash soup
Add the tomato paste to the goulash soup.

Tomato paste

Add the tomato paste.

Roasted goulash soup in a pot
The goulash soup starter roasted in a pot


Put the pot back on the stove and stir and roast the tomato paste.

The tomato paste needs to roast from the color red to dark brown in color.

Deglaze the goulash soup with bone broth
Deglaze the goulash soup with bone broth


Pour the bone broth or beef broth over the goulash starter.

Deglaze the goulash starter.

Add the marrow bones to the goulash soup
Add the marrow bones to the goulash soup

Marrow bones

Add the marrow bones from the bone broth or fresh marrow bones if using a beef broth to the goulash soup.

Add marjoram to the goulash soup
Add marjoram to the goulash soup

Add marjoram

Supplement the goulash soup with marjoram.

Dice the garlic
Dice the garlic

Cut garlic

Halve the garlic cloves, peel and cut into fine cubes.

Finely chop the garlic with salt
Finely chop and grate the garlic with salt.

Grate garlic

Sprinkle the garlic cubes with salt and then chop and grate with the blade of a knife.

Garlic sprinkled with salt does not become bitter when crushed and pressed.

Add the garlic to the goulash soup
Add the garlic to the goulash soup

Add garlic

Add the chopped garlic to the goulash soup.

grind cumin seeds
Grind the cumin seeds

Grind cumin

Crush the cumin seeds freshly in a mortar.

Freshly crushed seeds give more flavor.

Add cumin to the goulash soup
Add the ground cumin to the goulash soup.

Add cumin

Add the crushed caraway seeds to the goulash soup.

lemon zest
Lemon zest fine

Add lemon zest

Finely grate a lemon and add the zest to the goulash.

Marrow bones and goulash mirror
Marrow bones and goulash mirror

Cook meat

Simmer the goulash soup for 60 to 120 minutes.

Add liquid as needed.

A so-called goulash mirror forms on the surface of the goulash due to the added paprika.

Prepare peppers

Halved peppers
Halved peppers

Rinse the peppers

Wash, dry and halve the peppers.

Remove seeds from peppers
Remove seeds from peppers

Rinse peppers

Core the halved peppers and cut out the white skin.

Peel the peppers
Peel the peppers, I use a pendulum peeler for this

Peel peppers

Peel the pepper halves with the pendulum peeler.

Pepper halves peeled
Pepper halves peeled

Peeled peppers

Peel the remaining pepper halves in the same way.

Pepper without skin
Bell pepper quarters peeled without skin.

Cut peppers

Place the peeled peppers in pieces on the board.

Peppers cut into strips
Peeled peppers cut into strips.

Cut strips

Cut the peppers in halves or quarters into even strips 5 mm wide.

Cut the pepper strips into cubes
Cut the pepper strips into cubes

Dice the pepper strips

Cut the pepper strips into 5 mm cubes.

Diced peppers
Diced peppers on the cutting board

Provide diced peppers

Place the evenly chopped peppers in a bowl.

Prepare potatoes

Peel raw potatoes
Peel raw potatoes

Peel potatoes

Wash, dry and peel the potatoes.

Potatoes peeled
Potatoes peeled

Prepare potatoes

Place the peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water.

Cut potato slices
Cut potato slices

Potato slices

Cut the potatoes into 5mm thick slices.

Cut potato sticks
Cut potato sticks

Potato sticks

Cut the potato slices into sticks 5 mm thick.

Cut potato cubes from wedges
Cut potato cubes from wedges

Cut cubes

Cut the potato sticks into 5 mm cubes.

Potato cubes in water
Potato cubes in water

Provide potatoes

Immediately place the diced potatoes in cold water to prevent them from turning brown.

Boil potatoes
Boil potatoes cut into cubes.

Boil potatoes

Cook the potato cubes in a saucepan with salted water until al dente.

Boiled potato cubes
Drain the boiled potato cubes in a colander.

Drain potatoes

Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Diced potatoes and peppers
Diced potatoes and paprika as a soup ingredient for goulash soup

Provide vegetables

Set aside a small portion of the boiled diced potatoes and diced peppers to decorate the plates later.

Cooked Bones, Marrow Bones
Cooked bones, marrowbones on the cutting board

Remove marrow bone

Remove the cooked marrow bones from the goulash soup and place them on the board.

Scoop the meat and marrow off the bone
Scoop the meat and marrow off the bone

Release bones

Separate the meat from the marrow bones and remove the marrow from the bones.

You can dispose of the empty, cleaned bones.

Meat and marrow of marrow bones
Meat and marrow of marrow bones

Chop meat

Cut the detached meat and the marrow from the bone into small pieces.

Goulash soup with mirror
Goulash soup with paprika mirror

Supplement meat

Add the finely chopped meat and marrow of the bones to the goulash soup and bring to the boil.

Taste the meat in the soup and cook until soft as needed.

Add the potatoes to the goulash soup
Add the potatoes to the goulash soup.

Add potatoes

Add the boiled potatoes to the soup.

Add the peppers to the goulash soup
Add the peppers to the goulash soup

Add peppers

Add the diced peppers to the soup.

Boil the goulash soup once.

food starch
Cornstarch in the bowl before mixing

Prepare starch

Put a tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl.

Starch water mixed cold for binding
Starch water mixed cold for binding

Mix starch water

Add cold water to the cornstarch and stir.

Cook goulash soup
Cook goulash soup

Tie goulash soup

Boil the goulash soup and slowly add the starch water.

Thicken the goulash soup as you wish, add more starch water if necessary and bring to the boil.

Season the goulash soup with pepper
Season the goulash soup with pepper


Season the goulash soup with salt, pepper, sugar and chilli.

Goulash soup recipe image
Goulash soup recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


Serve the goulash soup as desired.

If desired, serve with pieces of pepper and extra heated pieces of potato and decorate with parsley.

Cooked goulash soup
Goulash soup boiled in a glass

Boil goulash soup

Alternatively, pour the goulash soup into glasses and boil it down.

The paragraph under heading 10. Boil goulash soup, preserve information.


2. Calories And Nutritional Values

As usual, you can find the exactly calculated nutritional values for goulash soup in the table below.

3. Hungarian Goulash Soup

The goulash soup is for us in the origin a typical dish of the Hungarian cuisine.

In Hungary, it is a variant of pörkölt, prepared there with beef and pork, onions, garlic, cumin, tomato paste and paprika powder.

In Hungary, goulash is traditionally served as a soup.

In German-speaking countries, on the other hand, it is usually prepared as a ragout and plate dish as well as a stew. 

Originally, the dish was called “gulyásos leves” in Hungary, which means “soup in the manner of the cattle herder”. 

Various sources prove:

In the past, the Hungarian beef herder cooked his goulash soup from lamb, poultry or pork and even fish, but never from beef.

Peppers and potatoes have only slowly spread in Europe over the last 200 years.

A lot of time passed before the ingredients were used in national dishes.

Paprika, also called Spanish pepper was a cheap pepper substitute for a long time.

Nevertheless, the vegetable and the spice needed centuries until the current acceptance in the pots.

Alleged even:

The recipe for beef goulash with potatoes appeared 100 years earlier in a Jewish cookbook before it was first mentioned in Hungary.

In very old Hungarian cooking recipes, paprika powder was not used.

In early times, a special savory with a peppery flavor was used for the soup.

The noble paprika powder was once a precious spice and found its way into Hungarian cuisine later than in German-speaking countries.

It was not until the end of the 19th century that János Kotányi, owner of a paprika mill in Szeged, published Hungarian cooking recipes using paprika seasoning.

It is certainly thanks to him that Hungarian cuisine is associated with paprika spice.

Tokány is goulash without paprika and, depending on the type of meat, similar to Irish stew in preparation.

Sweet paprika packs
Sweet paprika packs
Sweet paprika
Sweet paprika

4. Goulash Soup Chef

It is always a matter of concern to me to convey cooking knowledge vividly.

Over the past three decades, I’ve been able to look into different cooking pots as well as browse through many, many cookbooks.

So that we don’t slip into theory, I’ll provide you with some tops tips to make your goulash soup extra fine.

Chef tips for cooking goulash soup yourself:

–> Cook yourself a bone broth from marrow bones in advance, optionally with veal bones.

–> You can do it faster by cooking the marrow bones directly in the goulash later.

–> The marrow bones give the goulash a particularly deep flavor and nothing can replace them.

–> The marrow and meat scraps from the bone will complement your goulash soup.

–> Please sweat the yellow finely diced onions for at least 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

–> Caramelize the onions with sugar, use raw cane sugar for a strong and full flavor.

–> Do not fry the meat, but sauté it in the onions.

–> Always roast the tomato paste vigorously, creating the dark color and typical taste.

–> Never dry roast the paprika powder, it will become bitter. You can also add it later after deglazing.

–> Potato cook the great chefs in an extra pot. Thus, the of goulash can be perfectly matched.

–> Peppers please peel, the peels of the pods are indigestible.

–> Traditional binding with flour: Today, chefs mainly bind the soup with starch stirred cold.

–> Always pestle cumin seeds fresh in a mortar, so they develop the cumin aroma best.

–> Always press or crush garlic with salt so that it does not become bitter.

–> Finely grate the lemon, the white skin of the lemon makes the stew bitter. Use only the fine peels.

Remains some secret tips from the chef of the century Eckart Witzigmann:

In his cookbook “Meine 100 Hausrezepte” (My 100 Home Recipes), Mr. Witzigmann cooks the goulash soup with, among other things, a small amount of vinegar water.

Vinegar water consists of 100 ml of tarragon vinegar and 100 ml of cold water.

The quantity refers to 2.5 kg of beef from the shoulder.

Mr. Witzigmann also uses 850 g of canned tomatoes for good measure.

The stewing of the goulash is done in a closed pot “in the tube” (oven) at 150 degrees Celsius for several hours.

The cook of the century goulash soup is flavored with turtle spice:

Turtle spice:

In a mortar few cumin seeds with a little thyme, a pinch of marjoram,
a pinch of fennel seeds and curry and a teaspoon of coriander seeds and mustard seeds,
crush 3-4 cloves, 49 black peppercorns, 29 white peppercorns and a pinch of oregano.

Please use the spice carefully at the end of the preparation to taste.

canned tomatoes
canned tomatoes
grind cumin
grind cumin

5. Classic Goulash Soup

Honestly, there is no such thing as classic, every chef and every region offers specialties in the preparation.

Viennese goulash soup is prepared without peppers, only with potatoes.

A pußta soup is a particularly dark and spicy, strong version of the popular soup.

Szeged goulash soup is prepared with pork and sauerkraut.

It is interesting to look at old cookbooks.

I prefer to look at Mary Hahn’s Illustrious Cookbook, created after 1910.

There I could not discover a goulash soup but a goulash as a plate dish.

Interesting here is the high-quality meat that Mrs. Hahn used for goulash:

Instead of cattle calf meat or other stewing meat, Mary Hahn uses roast beef, tenderloin or intermediate rib for goulash.

These pieces of meat significantly reduce the braising time.

By the way, the correct stewing of soup in the oven has gained acceptance in a few regions.

I make an exception for goulash soup, and cook it on the stove.

So far, I haven’t been able to tell much of a difference when making soup, whether on the stove or in the oven.

Beef shank on the bone
Beef shank on the bone, the meat of the beef shank is called Wadschunken in Austria.
Goulash soup beef cubes on the cutting board
Goulash soup beef cubes on the cutting board

6. Cooking Grandma’s Goulash Soup Simple

My grandmother prepared the goulash in the simplest version:

–> Sauté onions until golden brown

–> Add the meat and stir

–> Add tomato paste

–> Roasting

–> Fill up with water and add beef bouillon cubes.

–> Add cumin, marjoram and paprika powder

–> Boil goulash until soft then add the potatoes and cook until soft

–> Final season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar

–> According to the season, small cut peppers from the garden were added in any color.

–> Parsley or lovage finely chopped sprinkled on the soup.

Chef of the century Eckart Witzigmann has ennobled the beef stock cube in his cookbook “my 100 home recipes”.
On page 95, he uses this in the Szeged goulash: “Grained broth as a seasoning is better than making the goulash with meat broth …”

Roasted goulash soup in a pot
The goulash soup starter roasted in a pot
Add tomato paste to the goulash soup
Add the tomato paste to the goulash soup.

7. Goulash Soup In the Oven

You can, of course, stew your goulash soup in the oven after preparing it on the stove.

As described above, I don’t see much advantage to the oven method for soup.

I have both variants:

  1. Cooking on the stove, gently simmering
  2. Braising in the oven

… tried several times and can not notice much difference.

Just decide on a method.

Here follows another graphic on the subject of technically correct braising:

Salad with Prawns Recipe Image
Schmoren, wie es fachlich richtig gemacht wird.

8. Goulash Soup With Potatoes

In most recipes, the potatoes are simply added to the goulash at the end and cooked in the goulash until soft.

This method saves you another pot to cook extra potatoes.

Nevertheless, I recommend you to boil the potatoes extra in salted water.

The advantages at a glance:

–> You can cook the potato cubes exactly to the desired bite, then drain them.

–> The meat is sure to be cooked and soft when you add the cooked potatoes to heat.

–> You can still individually control and adjust the amount of potato addition.

–> Binding the soup with extra starch water allows you to bind accurately and avoids a soggy goulash.

–> You can save some potato cubes for decoration

The question remains, what kind of potatoes you use for goulash.

Floury potatoes are often specified, I also really like firm boiled potato cubes in goulash soup, they retain more bite.

potato cubes
Potato cubes on the cutting board
Boil potatoes
Boil potatoes cut into cubes.

9. Party Goulash Soup

Throughout Germany, it is the number 1 party soup.

However, nowadays a potato goulash is also a good idea, because without meat is simply “in”.

I would clarify this with the guests in advance, someone does not like meat or beef also offers pork or the vegetarian version of the soup.

Both soups are easy to prepare and can be made hours, even a day, before your event.

When your soup is finished cooking, place a stainless steel ladle in the soup.

Then the soup goes into the refrigerator.

The stainless steel ladle conducts heat from the soup, even if a skin forms as it cools.

This is important so that the soup does not tip over and become sour.

Avoid putting a lid on the soup before it is cold. otherwise, the heat cannot get out of the pot well and the goulash may become sour as well.

Reheat the soup 20 minutes before serving.

Stir a lot, especially in the beginning, because the soup tends to burn due to the starch it contains and the potatoes.

Potato goulash vegan and hearty
Delicious and hearty vegan potato goulash prepared and beautifully presented.
Vegan goulash recipe image
Vegan goulash recipe Image © Thomas Sixt

10. Boil Down Goulash Soup, Preserve It

In the previous paragraph I have already written quite a bit about the proper cooling of goulash soup.

Prepared and properly cooled goulash has a shelf life of 5 days in the refrigerator.

Do not put the lid on the pot until it has cooled down.

Alternatively, you can decant into suitable cans with lids.

Flat cans with lids or freezer bags that you shape flat when freezing are best.

The goulash is then also quickly defrosted.

Another alternative is canning in jars.

Pour the hot goulash soup into clean, vinegar-washed jars with lids.

You should end with liquid on top, 7 mm distance to the lid is a good guideline.

Then close the jars neatly.

Preheat oven at 120°C and insert a deep baking tray with boiling water.

Place the jars in the water and boil down for a good 1.5 hours.

Allow the jars to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.

If done well, your boiled down goulash soup should keep for at least 3 months.

Filled with goulash soup for boiling
Goulash soup for preserving filled in a glass.
Cooked goulash soup
Goulash soup boiled in a glass

11. Frequently asked questions about goulash soup

I have compiled the most important, answered cooking questions for you below:

Should I cook goulash soup with red wine?

Goulash soup you cook please without red wine with beef broth or bone broth.

Can I prepare goulash soup in the oven

After preparation on the stove, you can stew goulash soup in the oven at 150 ° C for several hours professionally correct.

When will the goulash soup be ready?

Just taste the meat after an hour of cooking. Increase the cooking time until the meat is completely tender.

What meat do I use for goulash soup?

You can buy commercial goulash meat from beef, alternatively cattle calf meat or meat from beef shoulder.

12. More Goulash Recipes Ideas

You’ll find more great ideas here on the food blog:

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