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Hungarian - Goulash Soup

40 mins
Serves 4
Savoury pancakes

Vegetarianism is growing rapidly in New Zealand, but other parts of the world have had meat-free cuisines for centuries. For a rich and varied plant-based diet, talk to Chinese, Indians, Mexicans… Our wonderful volunteers have shared authentic recipes from around the world. Most of these recipes were traditionally vegan, but some were meat-based recipes that have been ‘veganised’. We have collected 31 recipes from 31 different countries to share with you – one for each day of October, World Vegetarian Month.

Here is a recipe from Hungary. This recipe is a vegan version for Hungary’s national dish, Goulash. In its traditional Hungarian form, it’s a soup, a broth with vegetables and meat…lots of meat. In other countries though, goulash refers to a meat stew.

This is a very tasty soup, perfect for chilly days. Most Hungarians love Goulash and we have many different varieties, including bean goulash and fake goulash (this version is sometimes vegetarian, but most often not as bacon and lard are commonly used in ‘Hamis gulyás’).

One would think it is hard to veganise a soup that contains so much meat. But it is not the case. Mushrooms and marmite give a ‘meaty’ taste and even meat-eaters liked this recipe.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the kinds of peppers they use in Hungary but bell peppers or ‘king sweetie’ capsicum would do too.


  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 big finely chopped white onion
  • 6-8 smaller mushrooms, cut in halves or quartered
  • 1 bell pepper, red or yellow, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 extra large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 red potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 parsnip
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Marmite – as desired, I added a big tablespoon of marmite 

Optional extra: add 1/4 cup dry red wine, soy chunks


  1. Fry onion for about 7-10 minutes, until they’re soft and beginning to brown– add some water if they are sticking to the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the paprika (both sweet and smoked) and caraway seeds. This will bring out its flavor but you don’t want to fry it or it will turn bitter.
  2. Return to head and add mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic and tomato. Cook for a minute then add potato, parsley and carrot. Cook them for a few minutes, stirring constantly to make sure nothing burns.
  3. Add vegetable broth, some salt and the bay leaf.
  4. Cook for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy.
  5. If using, add the marmite in the last minute (as Marmite is rich in B vitamins which are heat sensitive).
  6. To serve, sprinkle with parsley.