Last Updated on 3 years by Tim
Goulash can be served in two different ways in German cuisine. As a stew or as a soup. I already showed you how to make the goulash stew. Today I will share with you my recipe for goulash soup.
It’s a lovely dish during the cold days because it makes you feel so warm and comfortable on the inside. I love to eat goulash soup with bread to soak up all of the delicious broth.
I know that some German people find it weird to combine two different starches like bread and potatoes in one meal. However, I’m a huge fan of it and it is quite common in Swabian cuisine. Just think of Gaisburger Marsch or Maultaschen with Swabian potato salad.
And even outside of German cuisine, what would, for example, an Indian meal be without bread AND rice?
How to get the meat super tender
For goulash soup, you can either use pre-cubed stew meat or do it as I do: Use beef shanks. Beef shanks are super juicy and tender. Their bones will impart a great depth of flavor to your broth.
As this is a goulash, you will need to sear your meat before cooking it in beef broth until tender. The fond on the bottom of the pot will give your broth a dark color and rich flavor.
You will need to patiently wait for at least 1.5 hours or longer in case your beef isn’t fork-tender yet. Don’t add your veggies too early, as you don’t want them mushy and overcooked. Goulash soup is supposed to be a vibrant dish where every ingredient is cooked to perfection.
How to season your goulash soup
I like to use quite a bit of vinegar to season my finished soup. That is because it tends to be quite fatty and rich if I use beef shanks. The acidity nicely compliments the richness of the soup.
It’s always best to be conservative when seasoning with spicy paprika. It’s better to add some more last minute at the table in case you think your goulash soup is lacking spiciness. A bowl of overly spicy soup is very hard to fix and you might need to throw it out!
I do know that a lot of people love to have some kind of dairy with this kind of soup. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt would be a nice fit. I didn’t list it in the recipe because it is very uncommon to do so in Germany.
I noticed that especially in North America many soups aren’t complete without a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkling of shredded cheese. So, if you’d like to add some additional garnishments to your goulash soup, then go ahead. As goes for everything that is published on this blog: Make the recipe yours!
- 1.6 pounds (725 g) beef shank, deboned and cut into bite-sized pieces
- black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika powder
- hot paprika powder, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice berries
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
- red wine vinegar, to taste
- salt, to taste
- flat-leaf parsley, for sprinkling
- Season the beef shank cubes with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the lard in a large pot over high heat and sear the beef shank on both sides for 3-4 minutes, or until browned to your liking.
- Turn the heat down and add your tomato paste. Roast for 1 minute before deglazing the pot with beef broth. Add the sugar, paprika, caraway seeds, black pepper, and allspice berries. Also, add in the bones of the beef shank. Bring the beef broth to a boil and cover the pot with a lid. Let the goulash simmer gently over the lowest possible heat for 1.5 hours.
- After 1.5 hours, add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes before adding the red bell pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes, then remove the beef bones and season the broth to taste with vinegar and salt.
- Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley. It’s best to enjoy this goulash soup with a slice of hearty bread to soak up all the broth.
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