Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Hungarian Mushroom Soup is a rich and flavorful dish that showcases the earthy depth of mushrooms within the context of traditional Hungarian cuisine. This soup typically begins with a hearty base of fresh mushrooms, often a mix of button and wild varieties, which are known for their meaty texture and deep, woody flavors. The mushrooms are sautéed in butter, a process that intensifies their flavor, and then set aside.

In the same pot, onions and garlic are cooked until translucent, releasing their aromatic qualities into the foundation of the soup. Paprika, a quintessential Hungarian spice, is then added. This not only imparts a vibrant red hue but also adds a subtle smokiness and a touch of heat. Some variations of the recipe might include a dash of other spices, such as dill or caraway seeds, to add complexity to the flavor profile.

The sautéed mushrooms are reintroduced to the pot, and a mixture of vegetable or chicken broth is added, creating a rich and savory liquid base. The soup is simmered to allow the flavors to meld together harmoniously. During this simmering process, a roux is often prepared in a separate pan, combining flour and butter, and then added to the soup to thicken it, giving it a creamy consistency.

Sour cream is a key ingredient added towards the end of the cooking process, lending the soup a tangy richness and a velvety texture. It’s important to temper the sour cream before adding it to the hot soup to prevent curdling. Some versions of the soup might also include a splash of white wine or lemon juice for an added layer of complexity and a slight acidic balance to the creamy richness.

The soup is traditionally served hot, often garnished with fresh dill or parsley, adding a burst of color and a fresh herbal note. A side of crusty bread or a slice of hearty rye is the perfect accompaniment, ideal for soaking up the flavorful broth. Hungarian Mushroom Soup is not just a dish but a comforting experience, embodying the warmth and heartiness of Hungarian home cooking, making it a beloved meal during colder months or as a satisfying starter in any hearty meal.


1 pound fresh button mushrooms (keep 1 cup aside for garnish)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups diced onions

2 teaspoons dried dill

1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/5 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a sizeable pot, melt butter over medium heat.

Toss in onions and sauté till they’re soft and clear.

Add the mushrooms (except the 1 cup you set aside) and cook until they’re browned and their juices start oozing out.

Mix in the dill, paprika, and soy sauce.

Introduce the vegetable broth and let the mix simmer gently.

In a bowl, blend the cornstarch with a bit of cold water to make a paste. Stir this into the soup till it thickens.

Add the milk and simmer for a couple more minutes.

On low heat, integrate the sour cream and lemon juice into the soup.

Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

In another pan, fry the 1 cup of mushrooms you set aside until golden and use these for garnish.

Serve the soup in bowls, topping each with the fried mushrooms and a dash of parsley.

Dive into the heartwarming flavors of this Hungarian Mushroom Soup, an embodiment of Hungarian culinary artistry. Relish the harmonious blend of mushrooms, paprika, and creaminess that ensures every bite is an experience in itself.

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