Oma's Hearty Goulash Soup Recipe (Gulaschsuppe)

➤ by Gerhild Fulson

This German goulash soup, aka Gulaschsuppe, is one of my most traditional of all German soups. It's also known as Mitternachtssuppe (midnight soup) when it's served at midnight on New Year's Eve.

It's one I often make when I have company coming over any time of the year and need something that's easy to prepare ahead. I'll add some fresh crusty homemade artisan bread and dinner's ready. 

One of the best places to have this delicious soup is along the German Autobahn at the restaurants at the rest stops. I find that they make some of the best. A perfect on-the-go soup that's so satisfying, especially on a long trip.

Scroll instead to find lots of important & interesting info about this recipe.

Traditional German Goulash Soup. Try creating your very own version of this Gulaschsuppe! Delicious and colorful German food.

I've even got a quick hack to make this wunderbar soup a lot quicker, easier, and cheaper. It's also easy to make a HUGE potful, making it wonderful for large gatherings where there are lots of hungry mouths to feed.

Check out the recipe and tips... and then watch the video below for the super quick hack to make this wonderful German food. Comfort food at its best.

Which beef cut is best for goulash? 

The best cut for the job is either the chuck or flank. When using a thin flank, a cut from the belly, you will find that it works well for a slow cooking meal.

Thin flank cooks very moistly and is a very tender and flavorful cut, which is just what you want when making goulash! 

Flank is a good all-purpose cut that can be used in so many different dishes. it is perfect for grilling, sautéing, broiling... anything really!

Grab your copy of Oma's favorite soups collection in Quick Fix German Soups e-Cookbook. You'll LOVE it! 

Take a look at Oma's Quick Fix Soups eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine.

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

8 Tips for making Goulash Soup

  1. Cut the meat, onions, peppers, and potatoes into approximate 1-inch cubes. This doesn't need to be exact!
  2. Omit the potatoes if you wish and serve with bread or buns. This can also be served in a very Bavarian way, by adding mini bread dumplings to the soup.
  3. Don't have beef broth? Use a cup of water and one beef bouillon cube instead.
  4. Add ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream at the end. That makes this REAL German. Try adding a bit of sugar to it at the end as well.
  5. Add 1 can drained kidney beans, either red or white, 5 minutes before the soup is finished.
  6. Use all beef, or a mixture of half beef and half pork. The recipe below makes enough to serve 4 to 6. I suggest doubling this, simply because you will want leftovers. They are so good the next day for lunch.
  7. You can make this ahead and reheat when company comes. I find soups like this often taste better the next day... if there are leftovers!
  8. For the Hack in the video below, I browned the meat, added the frozen Fajita Blend of onions, yellow, green, and red peppers, added a can of crushed tomatoes instead of the tomato juice, enough water to almost cover, and then continue as in the recipe. Yummy!

The difference between goulash and stroganoff?

Both goulash and stroganoff are such wunderbar comfort foods, but what's the difference between the two? After all, they seem so similar!

Well, the simple way to describe it is, goulash acts like a beef stew or soup, while stroganoff traditionally acts more as a sauce. Goulash is a very hearty meal made with flavorful cuts that take time to tenderize.

It is typically made in a slow cooker to let the meat sit longer, and the longer it cooks, the more tender! Goulash is often served over noodles and has a mixture of your favorite vegetables cooked with the meat. 

When stroganoff is cooked it is done on the stove. A lovely mix of onions, steak, and mushrooms are pan-fried together, then adding in sour cream and brandy makes it into a thick sauce. This sauce is then traditionally served over rice. 

Both dishes are quite similar in many ways though, as they both have sweet paprika incorporated which can make it difficult to even tell the two apart! The best part about meals like goulash and stroganoff is that you can always switch it up and try something different every time.

Adding your favorite veggie instead of the recommended, making your sauce as thick as you like, and also making your meats as tender as YOU prefer. That's my favorite part about cooking, it's all up to you!

Is Goulash from Hungary or Germany?

I'm often asked if goulash is Hungarian or German. The answer? Both. The Hungarian goulash usually has potatoes, but the German goulash usually doesn't.

We, Germans, often served them with the potatoes on the side or even just bread or buns to dip into the amazing gravy-like broth.

However, even the German goulash can have potatoes in it, as shown in the goulash soup recipe below. If you're really, really curious about the Hungarian and German backgrounds, check out the History of Goulash.

Traditional German Goulash Soup, Scrumptious!

Above, I'm cooking a HUGE pot full of goulash soup, using the hack shown in the video. It's the way I'm making this soup more and more often. It's quicker and cheaper too! 

American Goulash?

Apparently, there are a few types of goulash, including American goulash. It is a dish similar to American chop suey (a pasta casserole made with ground beef, macaroni noodles, and a seasoned tomato sauce). American goulash, a southern comfort food, is a descendant, of sorts, of Hungarian goulash, where the only real connection seems to be the name, and the inclusion of beef and paprika.

A typical American goulash recipe calls for ground beef, onion, garlic, bell pepper, tender elbow macaroni, and has tons of tomato flavor with diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato purée, and tomato paste. It is seasoned with sweet paprika, bay leaves, Italian seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese. Some recipes call for red wine.

Just like German goulash soup and Hungarian goulash soup, American goulash has also been made in soup form.

Ready to make this hearty soup with its tender chunks of beef?

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Oma's Hearty Goulash Soup

This German goulash soup, Gulaschsuppe, is one of my most traditional of all German soups. It's perfect for cooler weather and one I often make when I have company coming over and need something that's easy to prepare ahead. 

Serve some fresh crusty homemade artisan bread with this bowl of hearty vegetable soup with tender beef and dinner's ready.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

65 minutes

Total Time

75 minutes

Servings:

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound stewing beef, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 - 3 potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 peppers, preferably different colors, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hot Hungarian paprika (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Brown half the meat. Remove meat and brown remaining meat. Return all the meat to the pot, adding onions and garlic.
  2. Continue to cook on high for several minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add tomato juice, beef broth, salt, and paprika.
  4. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes and peppers. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Season with additional salt, pepper, and hot paprika, if desired.

Notes/Hints:

  • Cut the meat, onions, peppers, and potatoes into approximate 1-inch cubes. This doesn't need to be exact!
  • Omit the potatoes if you wish and serve with bread or buns. This can also be served in a very Bavarian way, by adding mini bread dumplings to the soup.
  • Add ¼ cup of whipping cream at the end. That makes this REAL German. Try adding a bit of sugar to it at the end as well.
  • Add 1 can drained kidney or pinto beans, either red or white, 5 minutes before the soup is finished.
  • Use all beef, or a mixture of half beef and half pork.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Instead of soup, you could just make a traditional goulash and serve over noodles or with potato dumplings.

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12.24.2021 revision update

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Traditional German Goulash Soup, Scrumptious!

Oma's Hearty Goulash Soup Recipe (Gulaschsuppe)

By
Oma's Hearty Goulash Soup Recipe (Gulaschsuppe)
This goulash soup is one of my most traditional German soups. I often make this Gulaschsuppe when I have company coming over and need something easy to prepare ahead.

Ingredients: stewing beef, oil, onions, garlic, tomato juice, beef broth, seasonings, potatoes, peppers,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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