Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Years ago I worked in an office in downtown Portland, OR.  Across the street from our office was a deli that made to-die-for Hungarian Mushroom Soup.  On particularly cold, rainy winter days one of us from the 4th floor would run across the street and buy a gallon of soup, and bring it back to share.  It was slightly spicy, flavored with dill, and rich with the meatiness of mushrooms.  Mmmm.  I can still taste it.

Over the years I’ve tried tons of times to duplicate the recipe and never quite succeeded.  The last time I tried, the recipe came out with the consistency of cream of mushroom soup – or mushroom gravy.  The flavor was good, but it was way too thick for the rich, spicy broth that I remember.

So here’s another try at duplicating this soup.  This one is about as close as I’ve ever found and perfect for a day like today – rainy and cold and gray.

After I made the soup, I realized that some of these ingredients weren’t necessary. What you do need: chicken stock, mushrooms (I used sliced portobellos), onion, milk, flour, dill, butter, paprika, lemon juice, salt.  The parsley and the sour cream are optional.

Begin by cooking the chopped onion in about 2T of the broth (I used my 3qt Dutch oven for this recipe and it was a perfect size).

Once the onions have softened and become translucent, add the mushrooms, dill, paprika, and salt, and about 1/2 cup of the broth.  Stir together well and simmer, covered.

In the meanwhile, in a separate saucepan melt the butter.

Add the flour and whisk until it’s creamy and well blended. Cook over low heat to make a light roux.

Add the milk, whisking constantly. The mixture should begin to thicken.

Add the rest of the chicken stock to the mushrooms and bring it back up to a low simmer.

Add the milk mixture to the mushrooms, stirring constantly. Finally, add the lemon juice just before serving.

Serve garnished with sour cream and more of the dill (or some chopped parsley).

Nutritional Info:   Makes 4 servings.  Cals:  169.  Fat:  8.3g.  Carb: 18.4g.  Fiber: 3.2g.  Protein:  9.2g.  (courtesy Calorie Count Recipe Analyser)

This recipe can also be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock or even water for the chicken stock.

Download the recipe: Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Enjoy!

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21 comments :

  • CilleyGirl

    I have had that same soup at what I expect is that exact same deli and as I sit here in my office in Lake Oswego looking out at the rain, I was thinking hungarian mushroom soup sounded good but I didn’t want to drive downtown in a storm — wonder if I can make it myself? And so I found myself here! I’m going to give your recipe a try this weekend.

    For the commenters, the hungarian mushroom soup I’ve had in Portland is from Kenny & Zukes Delicatessen. They do have a website.

  • Ryan Green

    I really love to eat lots of different kinds of soup specially vegetable based soups.;.-

  • lizzy b

    I was wondering,do you remember the name of the deli? My parents owned a deli some years back in downtown portland with some ‘to die for’ hungarian mushroom soup. Wondering if maybe, it was them?

  • lizzy b

    Hello Kara just curious,do you remember the name of that deli? My parents owned a deli a few years back in downtown portland and made Hungarian mushroom soup,thought maybe it could of been them?

  • joseph

    oh yeah, forgot to add that pacific natural foods also makes a mushroom stock, which i used in lieu of the chicken stock, and it was excellent.

  • joseph

    i made a mash up of the original recipe and millie’s suggestion of bacon fat to saute the onions, added some leftover pork tenderloin, and substituted fresh sage for the dill (just trying to use what was on hand)… it was killer!

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  • Christine

    Made this tonight and it was fantastic. Wow. However, I found I had to add larger amounts of liquid earlier on in the process. Also, the 3T of flour to 2T of butter seemed wrong. It just all clumped together dryly. I fixed it by quickly adding an extra T of butter. Perhaps these amounts are reversed? We also garnished with goat cheese, which is a little healthier than sour cream, and every bit as tasty. We will make this again and again.

  • Angela

    This is a great recipe. I also had lunch passing through Portland one day and had this soup from a little sandwich shop. I researched and researched and have made my own variation.

    I also wanted to share with you that the paprika used should be Hungarian Paprika (the reason behind the name).

    Making some tonight! Yum!

  • Kevin

    This is one of my favorite soups. The mushroom, paprika, sour cream and dill combo is so god!

  • Millie

    Dear Kara,
    I am glad you like the idea of bacon and sour cream, ’cause these are the key ingredients of traditional hungarian cooking. :-D
    Nowadays we tend to use olive oil, but if i want traditional flavors i never substitute :-D
    If you want to try something reaaly comforting, cook some pork tenderloin and make this “soup” without adding any water (it must be thick) as a sauce. Sprinkle it with parsley (not dill). It is great with pasta or rice. It is called “sertésszűzérmék bakonyi módra”.
    Another hungarian gem i have posted is :
    http://koolkatinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2008/08/pogacsa-with-pork-rind-tepertos-pogacsa.html

  • oneshotbeyond

    I haven’t seen a soup that looks this good in a long time! I already printed the recipe for the next time it’s souper cold out. The only problem is my kids both hate mushrooms so I’ll be eating a lot of this myself! :-) oops…not the worst problem in the world! HA

  • Millie

    Hi! Your soup looks great! But i can not help telling you, that in Hungary (i am hungarian, living in Budapest) there is no such soup.
    We have similar musroom sauces like that though.
    However i do not doubt that the deli version was made by some hungarion inspiration.
    If i were you, i would get some bacon fat (preferably smoked) and saute the onions first. Then add the paprika, salt and pepper (while it is removed from the heat), stir and add the musrooms. If you have wild mushroom (porcini is the best, and dried ones work also) add them too. Saute the musrooms.
    There is no need for stock, a couple of cup of water would do if you used bacon or bacon fat at the beginning. Boil the soup until the musrooms are cooked. Meanwhile mix a cup of sour cream (at least 20% fat) with a spoon of starch and carefully add it to the soup.
    You could season it with dill, though i would suggest parsley.
    I would not add lemon, the sour cream is sour enough.
    So this is the hungarian way of cooking. I hope you do not mind sharing it.
    Millie

    • Kara

      Hi Millie. Thank you so much for the information. I have no idea why this was called Hungarian soup .. I just remember that being the name of the soup and that it had dill in it.

      I love the idea of using the bacon and the sour cream. I’ll have to try that more authentic version! :)

  • Jen

    I just finished a bowl of split pea soup and now I’m daydreaming about your soup! I’m obsessed with the Hungarian Mushroom Soup a cafe near work serves and have wondered how to make it…Mystery solved :-) Many thanks!!

  • shasha

    Just saw this recipe on Tastespotting. it seems your link to the printable version of the recipe is down.

    • Kara

      Oh whoops! Thanks for letting me know. I made some structure changes and forgot to update the links! It should be fixed now!

  • Carolyn

    You had me at “gallon of soup.” This looks delicious! Isn’t that a great feeling, finally succeeding at replicating (or almost) something that you’ve eaten and loved?

    Found you on Tastespotting, by the way. Congrats!

  • mary @ arugulafiles

    this looks delicious. it seems that there is nothing else to buy at the farmers market but root veggies and mushrooms.

    • Kara

      Mary – thanks. It was even better the second day for lunch! I know what you mean about the farmer’s market. I’m sooooo ready for some spring veggies. Asparagus is starting to make an appearance here and I am already craving!

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