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Húsleves – Meat Soup with Chicken

We called this “Hungarian Soup” at our house. It was a Sunday staple!

Húsleves — Meat Soup (with chicken)

1 lbs. beef chuck, in one or two pieces
1 lb marrow bones

3-4 pieces of chicken with bone and skin (thighs and breasts or whatever you prefer)
3 tsp. salt
20 cups water or fill your stock pot up ½ way with cold water

1 large onion in whole, unpeeled
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
12 peppercorns


6 whole carrots, cleaned

4 whole potatoes, peeled

4-5 celery stalks, preferable the internal stalks with the leaves

a package of thread noodles (you can order them from us: Thread Noodles/Cerna Teszta)


3 parsnips, peeled but whole
1/2 celery root, peeled
1 kohlrabi, peeled

parsley greens

  • Soak the beef in cold water for 30 minutes, drain.
  • While waiting for the beef to soak, wash chicken parts, set in pot with cold water. Add the beef meat and bones and more fresh cold water if necessary. Begin cooking on low heat.
    Do not let the water come to the boil. Allow the soup to sweat instead of simmer. Small circles of fat will come to the surface and vibrate. Do NOT at any time stir the pot!
  • As the soup sweats, some scum will float to the top. Scoop it off with a slotted spoon or small, mesh strainer. When you think no more scum will come to the top add the salt, fresh parsley, garlic, and peppercorns.
  • Wash the whole onion and then cut out the root end and add to the pot.
  • Peel and wash all the other vegetables, but do not chop them, [keep them whole]. Set them aside for use later.
  • Let the soup sweat for 2-3 hours.
  • When the meat in the soup is getting close to being tender add the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, kohlrabi and the celery root. Do not raise the heat. Let the soup sweat.
  • When the soup has been sweating for six hours or more and the meat and all the vegetables are tender, very gently pour the broth through a large fine sieve into a clean soup pot. Let the meat and the vegetables cool a bit.
  • Cut the breast meat into serving size pieces. Keep the thighs as they are but remove and discard all the skins. Put the meat back in the soup. Gently heat the meat and vegetables and then the soup is ready to serve.
  • Boil water and cook thread noodles. Drain and place the cooked noodles in the soup bowls and ladle some clear broth over it.

Arrange the vegetables and the meat on a serving platter. Set the table with the soup bowls with noodles and broth.
Make a couple of toasts and spread the hot marrow [from the marrowbones] on the top. Sprinkle with salt.
Serve the soup first and next serve the meat and vegetables with the broth and the marrow toasts.

I borrowed a few explanations from two recipes from Zsuzsa in the Kitchen’s chicken soup and beef soup but the recipe above was how we had our soup — with a combination of chicken and beef meat.