Brigitte Hafner's Hungarian goulash.
Brigitte Hafner's Hungarian goulash. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This hearty beef and paprika soup originated in Hungary, where they grow a lot of peppers. It can be enjoyed as a thick stew eaten with spatzle or potatoes or as a soup with just a little bit of sauerkraut added at the end, which I love.


6 tbsp olive oil

700g brown onions, peeled and sliced

700g gravy or chuck beef, cut into 4cm cubes


1 1/2 tbsp paprika

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cloves

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 litre beef or chicken stock

sour cream, to serve


Heat a large pot over medium heat with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the onions until very soft and golden brown (about 12 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat a large pan with the remaining oil and brown the meat well all over. Season with salt and add to the onions with the paprika, caraway, cayenne pepper, cloves and tomato paste.

Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, before adding the stock. Simmer gently for about 1½ hours or until the meat is very tender.

To serve

Season to taste, pour into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream.