Authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe from my Mother’s Kitchen

My mom used to make this authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe in Winter when things cooled off. Her savory soup is perfect with a slice of rye bread and butter. It’s not as thick and hearty as regular Goulash…. but it warms you to your bones.

Of course, Mom used the “pinch of this”, “palm full of that” method of measuring ingredients. I’ve translated to Teaspoons and Tablespoons as well as possible, but the best way to check is to taste as you go along. I also sometimes add more meat or carrots or potatoes, depending on what is in the refrigerator.

Also, most beef stocks taste a little bland, I find that adding one or two tsp of Bouillon increases the richness of the soup.

Go ahead and double and triple the recipe.

goulash soup

Authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe

Goulasch Suppe

authentic goulash soup recipe

Authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe

This soup makes a delicious Dinner for 4-5 people when served with Rye Bread and Butter.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 -5 servings


  • 2 Tbl Butter
  • 1 chopped Onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbl Ground Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon each -Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbl Tomato Paste
  • 1 large Carrot- sliced diced if it is very thick
  • 1 1/2 lb. Beef- cubed to 1 inch pieces I often cut down a London Broil
  • 1 clove Garlic- chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • ½ tsp. Marjoram
  • 3 large Potatoes
  • 5 cups Beef Stock
  • 1-2 tsp Beef Bouillon I prefer the Better than Bouillon brand


  • In a large Soup Pot, melt the butter.
  • Add the chopped onion and fry on medium heat, until it is translucent… soft. Then take the pan off of the heat.
  • Stir the Paprika, Salt and pepper, tomato paste and a tablespoon of water into the onions. It will look a bit like a lumpy red paste.
  • Add the Beef cubes, carrot pieces, garlic, marjoram and caraway seeds to the paprika mixture. Stir it up well.
  • Put the pot back on the heat, and heat it up while stirring. When it’s hot, cover, and let simmer over LOW heat for 1 ¼ hours, stirring occasionally. Check to make sure it doesn’t burn… if it gets to dry looking, add a bit of water.
  • After 1 ¼ hours-
  • Peel and cube the potatoes, add to the meat, stir, and then add the beef stock.
  • Simmer, partially covered for 30 more minutes.
  • Taste to see that it’s seasoned right… and adjust to your taste.
  • EAT....( I like to mush up my soup with a fork before eating....)

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goulasch soup

I like to Mush Up my Veggies

Keep in mind, this is a fairly “brothy” soup, not a thick stew. However, I like to mush up my potatoes and carrots so it looks thicker in my bowl (I got in the habit as a child, mushing the veggies make them look less like veggies, and therefore, I didn’t mind eating them!)

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authentic goulasch soup recipe


32 thoughts on “Authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe from my Mother’s Kitchen

  1. That looks more like a stew to me but sounds very good and looks good no in Heidelberg we don’t add Vegetables to Goulash Soup

    1. No… I know it seems counter intuitive, but the meat braises in the spices and gets loaded with flavor that way.

    2. My grandparents were from Karlsruhe and our Goulash does not have vegetables either, except for onion that disappears in the cooking, and some tomato paste.

      1. Like Kartoffelsalat, Goulash comes in many different recipes. I’m sure your Oma’s Goulash was delicious

        1. I made your recipe for Gulaschsuppe today, I have tried numerous one before, I think the small amount of caraway is the right touch/flavor, I loved your soup, yes, I did put the carrot in, I shredded it, by time the soup was done the carrot was hardly noticeable. I like the recipe and I will make it again. I’ve tried different Gulaschsuppen either with added Oregano, or some add heavy cream or even a chopped green pepper, I usually try different recipes and pick the one that tastes good to me

          1. I find there are many different recipes for Goulaschsuppe… I’ve even seen it as sort of a smooth cream soup! I’m glad you liked it

      2. Spaetzle is an excellent addition too, as an option to potato. Everyone’s family recipe is the correct one! ❤️

  2. I tried this and it tastes like regular beef stew. sorry. I would LOVE to find the recipe for a German goulash that I had when I was in Schweinfurt Germany years ago. There was a restaurant down by the river in Schweinfurt that served the best goulash soup I ever had. I don’t remember it having any meat, carrots or potato. I would love to find that recipe.

    1. No meat, carrot or potato? What was in it?

      This is how we always made it in our house… maybe different regions make it differently, like potato salad. Sometimes I add more Paprika to give it more heat.

  3. The Wienerwald restaurant has/had the best goulash soup! No vegetables can be seen, but perhaps they are broken down into the broth. It is more like meat in a gravy type of consistency. YUM! I don’t know if this restaurant still exists, but the last time I ate there was in the 1980’s. I’ve been searching for this as a copy-cat recipe for over 30 years.

    1. I’m beginning to think that Goulash Soup is like Potato Salad… different versions for different chefs/regions.

      If I come across the Wienerwald recipe I’ll pass it along

    2. I loved the goulash soup at Weinerwald. We ate ate the one in Berlin. I hope they are still in business..

  4. Poor Ray Fincham, no Meat,no Carrots, no Potatoes, no Flavor.. I had the worst “Goulash Soup” in Dinkelsbühl in 1956. Apparently the Restaurant Owner thought in order to be Authentic it had to burn the roof of your Mouth, it was Terrible. In our Home we use sweet Paprika straight from Szeged ,Hungary ( you can get the small can at World Market) It helps to have a Brother in Law from there. Onions,Meat and Vegetables are what give the Soup the Flavor.

  5. Hello everybody.
    My Mom never added vegetables to her Goulash soup. What she did add was 2 Tbl. of red wine vinegar, and 2 Tbl. of worshestershire sauce. When everything was simmering, she added 2 whole Basil leafs, which on the end of cooking the soup, you discard the Basil leafs. I ate Goulash soup cooked like that, also in Restaurants. You all have a good day and be healthy. Gigi.

  6. Do you add water to the beef bouillon when cooking for 1-1/4 hours? It seems like it would need some liquid to cook that long and the directions didn’t specify.

    1. Keep an eye on it. It’s on low heat… if it looks dry, add some water.

    2. The recipe calls for 5 cups of beef stock. That should do nicely 🙂

  7. I have been looking for Oxtail soup . Anyone has a recipe for it?

  8. Everywhere we went in Germany, the diners had this soup and it was always Fabulous!! I’ve been looking for a recipe that tastes like what I remember!! I haven’t made this one yet, but I’ll try it.

    1. Everyone makes it a little bit differently. This happens to be my favorite version. Give it a try!

  9. Goulash soup (Hungarian: gulyásleves) is a soup that originated in Hungary. It is part of the traditional Hungarian cuisine and is made from pieces of meat, mostly beef or pork, onions, garlic, caraway seeds, tomato paste and paprika powder, which gives the soup its typical deep red color. The Hungarian word gulya actually means herd of cattle, derived from gulyás – the cattle herder.

  10. Delicious! As do many others, I have that childhood perfect goulash taste in my head that just never can be quite satisfied. This was pretty close! I just made this today. My determination was to make it exactly like your recipe. My paprika bottle only had 1 teaspoon of paprika in it. Thank goodness, it is plenty for our tastes. Another confession: my mother did not like to open cans of tomato paste for just a spoonful. No tubes here like in Germany. She was apt to give her recipes just a good squirt or two of ketchup instead haha. I had no tomato paste on hand, so did that as well! Tastes great! I think our German Mamas, especially if they ended up in more remote regions of the US, as mine did, learned to do with what they could find.
    And I added a bay leaf. I could not help myself…

    1. Hahahaha.
      Whenever I open a can of tomato paste, I use what I need for the recipe, then dollop the rest of it by the tablespoon on a piece of plastic wrap. It goes on a plate and into the freezer until frozen. THen I can store the blobs in a container. That way you always have some in the freezer!
      (but honestly, I prefer the squeeze tube!)

  11. If you want to speed up this process – you can use sirloin or top or bottom round steak instead of a roast. Cube and brown the beef. Set aside. Cook the onions AND the carrots in butter. Add the tomato paste and all the spices, and a splash of red wine! and the garlic. Cook for just a few minutes until flavors are blended. Then add the stock and potatoes and beef, bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. And I like to add a bay leaf too.
    I really like the use of tomato paste and marjoram in this recipe!

    1. thanks for the tips. Sometimes I’m in a bigger hurry (well, often I’m in a hurry)

  12. 5 stars
    Last weekend I made this and it was wonderful. It had great flavor and my family even the picky one loved it. Definitely will be making it again

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