Sinikka's snippets

Finland and travelling, a woman's life, cultures, languages, photography plus family recipes

My goulash soup

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autumn leavesAs the autumn days are getting colder, it’s lovely to start making warming soups and stews. This is a dish that I have been making for two decades, a real family favourite. I found the recipe in a women’s magazine but the recipe has been adjusted over the years so that now it would be slightly different every time as I don’t necessarily follow strict measurements any more. It is a hearty soup – or maybe more like a stew – and we like it quite hot and spicy, packed with onions and garlic. Everyone can modify the spices to their liking, and some might like to use only half of the meat and add more vegetables.  I usually make a big potful at once as the flavours keep maturing, and the soup is even tastier on the second day!


  • 2 big onions, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 800 g thinly stripped beef (we can buy this ready-made in packages here)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 x 5 dl water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 tbs wheat flour
  • 1-2 tbs paprika powder
  • 1-2 tbs marjoram
  • 1-2 tbs caraway seeds
  • black pepper / cayenne pepper / chilli powder / fresh chilli (depending on your taste)
  • 8-12 potatoes, peeled and cut into four, or the size wanter (choose a firm variety)
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 big beefsteak tomatos, diced (or 3-4 smaller ordinary tomatoes)



  1. In a big saucepan, start frying the onion and garlic, and add the strips of beef. Fry until the meat has turned brown/grey.
  2. Sprinkle the flour and spices into the meat.
  3. Add half of the water (5 dl) and 1 stock cube, and let the meat simmer at low heat for 1 hour. Sounds long but this is really necessary to make the meat nice and tender
  4. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables.
  5. First add the potatoes and the other half of the water and the second stock cube.
  6. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are ‘al dente’.
  7. Add the peppers and tomatoes and boil for another 5-10 minutes

Goulash soup Goulash soup 2

Et voilà. A dollop of smetana or some cottage cheese goes well with the soup, and takes the edge off the spiciness.  

Goulash soup 3


PS. Just realised that the soup actually reflects the delicious, warm autumn colours. Maybe that’s another reason why this season always brings this recipe out!

Pepper plant


Author: sinikka

From Finland to the world, I teach English and French and try to be a model of a lifelong learner to my students, I love nature and photography, and enjoy travelling

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