Vegetable soup with liver dumplings – Májgombóc leves

by | Jun 11, 2015 | Soups

After harvesting the first, but small amount of green peas, I pondered the question of what dish to cook that wouldn’t call for too much peas, and the choice fell on a vegetable soup whose peculiarity is ensured by delicately spiced liver dumplings. Ready-made liver dumplings are of course available in the stores, but it takes almost no time to make them at home, not to speak about their taste, which is ever so much better.

These soft dumplings are always made of poultry liver: the most common is chicken liver, sometimes turkey liver or duck liver can be possibly used. In recipes circulating online a slice of damp bread is nearly always listed among the ingredients, but in my family bread dumplings didn’t stand the trial, so I only use breadcrumbs and egg to get the right consistency. Balls can be formed with hands or scooped out with a spoon, it’s up to you, rule is not set in stone.

Liver and onion go hand in hand, for this reason sautéed onion is a key element in seasoning, it upgrades the liver neutral taste. Besides onion nutmeg and parsley are those two ingredients that give the dumplings a pleasantly spicy flavour. People, who do not normally eat liver, can enjoy them; moreover, this soup is a good choice for those who have children, as kids usually love it, too (which is not a negligible aspect for parents if it’s difficult to please their children).

Májgombóc levesphoto:


  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 parsley root
  • handful of green peas
  • some florets of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 l (~4 cups) chicken stock

For the liver dumplings:

  • 200 g (~7 oz) chicken liver
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

Wash the vegetables, peel and cut them up to the shape you like.

Heat up the oil, add carrot, parsley root, cauliflower florets and green peas, and fry them for a minute while stirring continuously. Pour in stock, just enough to halfway cover the food and braise under lid for a couple of minutes. When the vegetables are half cooked, add the rest of the chicken stock, and over medium heat let the vegetables finish cooking until tender.

While the soup is cooking, make the liver dumplings. Sauté the finely chopped onion with a splash of oil till translucent, and let it cool.

Wash and clean the livers, discard sinews, and puree with a hand blender, or, if you prefer the traditional way, scrape them with a knife until you get mashed liver.

Place the liver puree, egg, sautéed onion, chopped parsley and seasoning in a bowl and mash it together with clean hands.

Add breadcrumbs to get a homogeneous consistency. Form tiny balls with wet hands, or tear off little pieces with a spoon. Drop into slowly simmering soup and cook for about 5-6 minutes.

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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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