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Hungarian Soup


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

Hungarian soups are very diverse! An authentic gulyás is cooked outside over a fire. Blessings from the farm and garden will bring csirkeleves, húsleves, zöldbableves, and sárgabableves to the table. A delightful and sweet treat, hideg meggyleves, is best with fresh morello cherries. Here is Hannah’s sour cherry soup recipe!

A few years ago I had some soup bones I needed to use up and so I decided to make Hungarian soup. The Hungarians make many different soups so to call this one item ‘Hungarian soup’ is kind of crazy but that is what it affectionately came to be known as in my family when I was growing up. Naturally, I was thinking about all the tips and tricks my mom would mention as she was cooking the soup and I tried to execute it in a similar fashion. I thought it tasted pretty good but my kids like heartier, thicker soups. They weren’t quite sure what to do with the whole carrots and potatoes and it wasn’t as satisfying to them because I used cerna teszta (thread noodles) and the broth was clear. I didn’t even bother to mention we used to fight over who would “win” the marrow and get to spread it on a piece of hearty rye bread with salt sprinkled on top. I am pretty sure they wouldn’t have understood that at all!

There are times when something that is meaningful to you isn’t as meaningful to someone else. I don’t think it diminishes the value, but it does make it harder to create or enjoy something when others don’t really appreciate the effort and yet it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t make the effort. Each generation comes up with new traditions and experiences and while it is great to embrace the new, it is important to keep connected with previous generations as well. It is a difficult balance. Sometimes things that are “boring” to your kids are picked up by the grandchildren. Keep trying!

A few years have passed and our kids have grown and matured and they like many different styles of soup now. When I was in the mood for Hungarian Soup I would make it. I love the way it smells! It is such a treat on a cold day! Today our kids like “Hungarian Soup” and it is time that I talk them through the cooking process. It is important to teach them how to get a clear broth. Early on, the marrow in the soup bones did not go over very well but I think they will appreciate it now. Our little visits to Hungary definitely broadened their perspective on a number of things. Marrow and chicken feet presented by precious relatives who have welcomed you into their homes will do that to you!

When I have grandchildren, I will start them on this soup when they are young so they are used to it and grow to love it as much as I do! I am sure I will also make the heartier version my kids like but I will also add in sárgabableves (yellow bean soup)–because Hannah fell in love with it at Hungarian camp and I had forgotten all about it!

Jó étvágyat! Enjoy your meal!

Magyar Marketing is a second-generation family business that began in 1988. Our mission is to provide you with resources and encouragement to discover, celebrate, and share your Hungarian heritage with friends and family! To receive our free product catalog or learn about our tours to Hungary and Transylvania, please email or call 1-800-786-7851.