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Gulaschsuppe (German Goulash Soup) is a rich beef soup that’s spiced with paprika and seasoned with thyme, caraway, marjoram, onion, and garlic.


Ithaca, NY, which is located on the southern end of Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lake region, is one of the quaintest little towns I know of.

While the name Ithaca may not be familiar right away, it might ring a bell when you hear that it is home to Cornell University.

stovetop goulaschsuppe recipe

There is an adorable pedestrian shopping mall in downtown Ithaca called the Commons. It has various stores and restaurants (for more pics of the Commons, see this post from mine and Mike’s last anniversary). 

There’s plenty of variety when it comes to places to eat! Mine and Mike’s favorite restaurant is a German place called Brötchen, and when we’re walking the Commons around lunchtime we end up there for lunch more often than not.

Gulaschsuppe (German Goulash Soup) in White Bowl with Side Salad
Homemade Gulaschsuppe served along with a pretzel roll and a salad of baby spinach, chopped apple, walnuts, oil, and vinegar.

At Brötchen I always order this soup and Mike always orders some kind of sandwich. And then he inevitably regrets not ordering this soup, and eats half of mine. Which is ok because then I have room for dessert.

gulaschsuppe recipe with description

The Best Gulaschsuppe (German Goulash Soup Recipe)

German Goulash Soup actually originated in Hungary. However, it’s quite common and considered traditional fare in Germany. (Read more about Gulaschsuppe on German Culture.)

This flavorful soup features pieces of beef slowly simmering until tender. Just take a look…

Close Up Spoonful of Gulaschsuppe

The broth is richly spiced with sweet paprika and flavored with onion and garlic. A touch of hot paprika (or cayenne pepper) adds a hint of heat and rounds out the flavor profile.

Gulaschsuppe Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Oil – I typically use avocado oil or clarified butter (aka ghee) to sear the beef for this soup, but you can use any mild or neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil.
  • Beef sirloin – You have options when it comes to what cut of beef to use. Sirloin is a lean cut; if you prefer, you can use chuck roast, which has more marbling.
  • Onion and garlic – For savory flavor and aroma.
  • Bay leaves – Bay leaves add to the complexity of this soup with another layer of flavor.
  • Sweet paprika – Paprika is a classic spice in Hungarian cuisine. It adds a gorgeous reddish color to soup, and a subtle sweet, fruity pepper flavor.
  • Fresh thyme – Fresh thyme adds an herby, peppery, citrusy flavor. If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, you can use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves instead.
  • Caraway seeds – Caraway is a classic spice in Goulash Soup; it adds a subtle anise-like flavor, similar to fennel.
  • Ground marjoram – Marjoram has a woodsy, earthy, citrusy flavor.
  • Hot paprika – This soup isn’t spicy-hot; we only add a pinch of hot paprika to help create a balanced flavor profile. You can substitute with cayenne pepper if you don’t have hot paprika on hand.
  • Beef stock – Use a good quality beef stock for the most flavorful soup.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that packs a punch of savory umami flavor that pairs exceptionally well with beef. A little bit goes a long way!
  • Tamari sauce – Tamari sauce is a fermented condiment that’s similar to soy sauce, but is gluten free. It adds great depth of flavor here.
  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste adds volume to the broth and helps thicken it slightly. It also adds another layer of flavor.
  • Salt and black pepper – These pantry-staple spices make sure our soup isn’t bland.
german soup prop setup

How to Make Gulaschsuppe

Sear the beef in a large pot.

searing beef

Add the onion and cook until starting to soften. Add the seasonings and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Stir in the stock and tomato paste.

making german goulash soup

Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally.


Store German Goulash Soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. As the flavors blend, it gets even more delicious!

german beef soup recipe

What to Serve with Gulaschsuppe (German Goulash Soup)

This is a hearty winter dish, and I like to serve it with something to soak up the delicious stew. Here are a few ideas:

german gulaschsuppe recipe graphic

Tips for Making Gulaschsuppe

  • For the the ground caraway seeds, I use whole caraway seeds and lightly crush them using a mortar and pestle. You can also put them in a small plastic bag and lightly crush them with a rolling pin.
  • You can add 2 potatoes and 4 carrots (all chopped) after the meat has cooked for about 30 minutes. Add a splash more liquid (beef stock or water) if necessary.
  • If you can’t find hot paprika, you can use cayenne pepper instead.
gulaschsuppe recipe

More Beef Soup and Stew Recipes to Try

german gulaschsuppe

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Gulaschsuppe Recipe (German Goulash Soup) 

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Gulaschsuppe (German Goulash Soup) is a rich beef soup that’s spiced with paprika and seasoned with thyme, caraway, marjoram, onion, and garlic.

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  • In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Add the onions and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, bay leaves, paprika, thyme, caraway, marjoram, hot paprika, salt, and black pepper. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is fragrant.
  • Stir in the beef stock, Worcestershire, tamari, and tomato paste, and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until beef is tender (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally. Add more liquid (beef stock or water) if necessary.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper as desired.
  • If desired, serve garnished with minced fresh parsley or thyme.



  • Net Carbs: 9g per serving
  • Caraway Seeds: For the the ground caraway seeds, I use whole caraway seeds and lightly crush them using a mortar and pestle. You can also put them in a small plastic bag and lightly crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Let the Flavors Blend: This soup is even more delicious the next day after the flavors have had the chance to blend.
  • Serving Suggestion: You can serve this with a dollop of sour cream for added richness.

How to Make This Soup in the Instant Pot

  1. Heat the oil in an Instant Pot on the “Saute” function. Once hot, add the beef and sear on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the onion and cook until it’s starting to soften, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Add the bay leaves, paprika, thyme, caraway, marjoram, hot paprika, salt, and black pepper and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring constantly. Press “Cancel” to turn off the “Saute” function. 
  2. Stir in the beef stock, Worcestershire, tamari, and tomato paste. Cover the Instant Pot and set it to “Manual, High Pressure” for 35 minutes. Once it’s done, vent it to release the steam.
  3. Serve garnished with fresh parsley or thyme.


Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 1053mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1046IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: German Goulash Soup, Gulaschsuppe

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

gulaschsuppe recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 10, 2011 and updated on January 29, 2024.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating


  1. One of the best things about my trip to Germany! I have a big crock pot of it going now. (minus bay leaf.
    I had brisket on hand so this will need to slowly simmer all night and DRIVE MY FAMILY NUTS!! 😁 With snow coming tomorrow, this will be PERFECT!!

  2. Ina Willis says:

    I made my goulash with carrots , potatoes, and celery. And at the end I put red wine in it. Just the right flavore.mmmmhhhhh😊

  3. Stuart Tolman says:

    I use stock and dark German beer.

  4. 5 stars
    Simmering on the stove right now for an upcoming Oktoberfest event this weekend; I doubled the recipe and used a homemade beef bone broth that I simmered earlier in the day- it tastes amazing and I’m sure it will be the star of the show this weekend!!!

  5. Erita Viljoen says:

    Made it at my son’s request
    Awaiting his feedback

  6. connie orcutt says:

    Fantastic…just like the soup I ordered when I lived in Hielbronn put some creame on top…It was wonderful
    thanks so much for putting it on line!

  7. Made this last night. Followed the recipe but added on diced red pepper. Delicious…just like I used to eat in Wiesbaden! Thanks!

  8. Roger Jones says:

    Sounds just what I am looking to make,but,how much is 6 c of beef sock?

    1. Roger, 6 cups of beef stock is about 1.4 liters. Hope you enjoy the soup!

  9. Is there a recipe for the awesome pretzel roll you have in the photo to go with the soup? If so may I have it? :D

    1. Hi Jenny, You read my mind, I’ve been wanting to make homemade pretzel rolls! :) I actually didn’t make the ones in the picture (they’re from a local grocery store called Wegmans).

  10. Warm comfort…great flavours…and a little crusty bread on the side…mummmm. I’m set for a wonderful meal ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  11. German GOULASH SOUP!?! WOW! This sounds amazing! I have German roots on both parents’ side of the family, so I see no excuse not to try this!

  12. Biren @ Roti n Rice says:

    Looks and sounds like a delicious bowl of soup! I would love to have a bowl right now.

  13. I can see why Mike eats your soup. So hearty and a great combination of flavors.

  14. Steve @ HPD says:

    Sorry … I know it’s me … but I can’t eat Gulaschsuppe unless I’m wearing fleece and gore-tex and have a pair of 215 cm Volkls strapped to my feet. It’ll always be ski-food for me, just like a canned iced coffee and a Ritter-Sport is always an autobahn gas station break snack. Cheers!

  15. I have never had this soup but wish I had because it looks delicious, full of wonderful flavor. That pretzel roll looks pretty darn good too:)

  16. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Looks like a terrific, rich and flavorful soup, and it sounds just perfect with a pretzel roll (we get those at wegmans all the time).

  17. This German soup looks awesome. Nice flavors.

  18. That sounds like a nice hearty, comforting bowl of soup!!

  19. Lovely course. Beautifully presented and executed.


  20. This soup looks delicious – the flavours all sound so good! Love the story behind it as well :)

  21. I love all the spices and flavors in this soup! When do we get the recipe for the pretzel rolls?

  22. My mother made goulash all the time (her side was German) but never goulash soup. This looks great, Faith!

  23. Angie's Recipes says:

    I prefer mine with pretzel too :-)) This looks so nice.

  24. Oh yum! This sounds perfect. Ryan and I just made pretzel rolls too. Thank you for infusing your posts with your kind spirit, your thoughtful words, and your beautiful photographs. Even in the midst of sadness, I find such solace visiting the blogs that I’ve grown to love this past year. I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, my friend. A big hug from Austin!

  25. Sonia @ Master of Her Romaine says:

    Hi, I just came across your blog!
    I absolutely LOVE your about page- so informative!
    Your soup looks great and so does that roll on the side-yum. I don’t think I’ve ever had traditional German food. I love saurkraut, though!

  26. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    This is something my partner (and his German dad) would greatly appreciate! Sounds amazing!

  27. Now if only I had the ingredients for this at home I could enjoy it tonight!! Diane

  28. What a great soup Faith! I love the little bit of tamari in it – interesting with the more traditional German ingredients. I want that pretzel roll too!

  29. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    What a hearty soup! It’s chilly and damp here today, and a bowl of this would sure taste good. :)

  30. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    Yum! I have a recipe very similar to this. The taste of marjoram in this brings back so many childhood memories. I love it! Mine doesn’t have caraways seeds though, but I can imagine it would taste fantastic. I’ll try to remember to add some to mine next time :)

  31. This soup is fabulous! I tried it when I travel to German two years ago and love it, and it looks exactly like yours! :)

  32. Delicious! What great flavors.



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