Pandúrleves – Pandour’s soup

by | Sep 14, 2016 | Soups

This soup is named after pandours, originally Serbian and Croatian soldiers who were on duty at the southern borders of the Hungarian kingdom. Later in the 19th century, between 1867-1881 (before the national gendarmerie was established), those officers who served as armed patrolmen in the Hungarian comitats were also called pandour.

Pandour’s soup can be made in different ways depending on which part of Hungary you are. It can be prepared with pork, beef or mutton, there are recipes that also call for pork brains. But there are also some fixed ingredients: carrot, parsley root, mushrooms and mustard. The soup is usually seasoned with dill and marjoram, but bay leaf also goes well with it.

Pandour's soup / Pandúrlevesphoto:


  • 50 g (~1 3/4 oz) bacon, chopped
  • 300 g (~2/3 lb) boneless pork, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 parsley root, chopped
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1-2 tsp chopped dill

For the grated noodles:

  • 1 egg
  • 100 g (~3 1/2 oz) flour

In a soup pot fry chopped bacon until crispy. Add finely chopped onions to the bacon fat and sauté until translucent. Stir in diced pork and brown a bit. When the meat takes some color, pour in water, just enough to cover 3/4 of the food and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Cover and slowly simmer; stir it from time to time and add more water if needed.

In the meantime knead egg and flour into a dough. Grate it through the large holes of a box grater, spreading out the noodles on a clean kitchen towel.

Once the pork is halfway done, pour in 1,5 liters / 6 cups of water and add chopped carrots, parsley roots and mushrooms to the soup. Season with dill, marjoram and mustard. Cook over medium heat. Whisk together flour, sour cream and 1/3 cup of water in a bowl. Once meat and vegetables are tender, pour the sour cream mixture into the soup, also add the grated noodles and cook for about 5 minutes until pasta becomes soft.

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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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