Hungarian potato soup

by | Oct 13, 2015 | Soups

Potato is an essential crop in Hungary, it’s an integral part of our food supply. Potatoes were domesticated in the Andes approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago, but they were introduced outside the Andes only about five centuries ago. It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice, and there are now over a thousand different types of potatoes worldwide.

There are uncountable potato dishes in the Hungarian cuisine, which prove that this starchy, tuberous crop is an important commodity of everyday life. 85% of the crop can be used for human consumption, compared to 50% utilization of cereals. Despite that potato is classified as high on the glycemic index and excluded, therefore, from the diets of those who follow a low-GI diet, it’s a healthy food since it contains many vitamins and minerals, as well as, carotenoids and natural phenols.

Potatoes can be prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. In Hungary soup is one of the most popular preparation methods. Potato soup is a substantial dish that can serve as a pick-me-up on cold days.

The taste of the following soup is very characteristic, that consists of 4 main elements. Brown (but not burnt) roux is the key part that defines the basic flavour, bay leaf and celery or celeriac root make the fine tuning, and at last sausage gives a smoky shade to the soup. I personally like to add a dash of white wine vinegar, but if you don’t favour  sourish taste, you may omit it.

Hungarian potato soup
Hungarian potato soup – photo:


  • 800 g (~1 3/4 lb) potatoes, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsley root, diced
  • 50 g (~1 3/4 oz) celeriac root (diced) or 2-3 sprigs of celery leaves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 g (~7 oz) smoked sausages, sliced
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • white wine vinegar to taste

Heat up the lard, add two heaping tablespoons of flour and make a brown roux. Remove from the heat, sprinkle  paprika on the roux and pour in 1,5-2 l (6-8 cups) of water while stirring constantly.

Return to the heat, add diced potatoes, carrots, parsley and celeriac or chopped celery leaves, bay leaf, season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil – stir frequently – and cook over medium heat.

When the vegetables are half-cooked, add sliced smoked sausages and cook until tender.

Turn off the heat. Put the sour cream in a bowl, ladle some soup and whisk to combine. In a fine stream pour the mixture into the soup while stirring continuously.

Flavour the soup with a dash of white wine vinegar.

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  1. Nothing like hungarian food.the secret is rendered lard.a flavor with hungarian paprika go hand and hand.I love chicken paprikash and add a hot hungarian pepper while cooking.enjoy all.

    • Yes, paprika and lard are the cornerstones of Hungarian culinary.

  2. This looks so good. My great-grandmother, who came over to America from Budapest brought many delicious recipes with her. She made a version of this soup and it is a family favorite! Hungarian cooking brings the whole family together. Thank you for this recipe. I make my great-grandmother’s version, but I’m going to add this one to my collection too.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Susan. Homemade dishes, especially old family recipes can be considered a kind of love language. I’m sure your potato soup is tasty, too. Btw, my recipe, too, comes from my great-grandmother.

Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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