A warming bowl of Husleves Soup

How to Make Húsleves

Origin: Hungary

Type: Soup

Main Flavours: Meat, vegetables

About Húsleves

Húsleves is a traditional Hungarian soup, known for rich flavours and warmth. Although, as Zsófi argues in her recent article about soup, it’s not just for the winter months! Húsleves is a broth-based soup that typically features meat and vegetables, so it’s usually not vegetarian friendly. 

Click here for our Húsleves recipe!

What Zsófi Says About Húsleves:

Although the dish that Hungary became internationally known for is Gulyás (another soup to nobody’s surprise), within the country itself, nothing can beat Húsleves especially if you’re hungover, tired, ill, or if it’s a Sunday. It is the soup of childhood, nostalgia, and the centrepiece of every family reunion where grandma’s cooking.

While its name is not very imaginative as it literally is a soup made from meat, the recipe makes up for this lack of creativity. It consists of tender pieces of meat that are cooked in a flavourful broth with some soup noodles and an assortment of vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and kohlrabi.

Both the meat and the vegetables are cooked as a whole, without slicing or dicing. This makes the preparation really easy, as you can just chuck all the ingredients in; however, it is really important that you also take them out when serving. Húsleves is always served in a big bowl full of only broth and noodle, the vegetables and meat are plated on a separate dish. Diners serve some soup for themselves from the bowl which, although has no veggies or meat, carries their flavours in the broth, and if they wish to, can add some veggies and meat separately onto their plate.

Unfortunately, as Húsleves gains its flavours mainly from the meat, it is really difficult to do it vegan or vegetarian. It is definitely the dish I miss the most from my meat-eating days, and I still longingly smell the kitchen after my mum’s prepared a big pot of Húsleves for the family, but don’t worry, I supplement it by having really fantastic vegetable soups, so it’s all good.

Read Zsófi’s full article on soups from around the world!

Húsleves Recipe

Húsleves Ingredients

500g of meat (usually either chicken thighs or beef, or a mix of both, trimmed of fat)

2 litres of fresh water

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks

2 sticks of celery, chopped into chunks

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped into large chunks

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 packet of thread noodles (also called soup noodles)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Húsleves Instructions

In a large pot, add the meat pieces and all of the vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, and garlic) with the water. 

You can either use a pressure cooker to cook this quickly, or a normal pot on a stove to cook this over several hours.

Once the meat and vegetables are tender, add the herbs (bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper) and cook for a further 20-30 minutes. If you’re using a pressure cooker, leave it unpressurised for this last step!

Meanwhile, cook the thread noodles as per the instructions on the packet (this usually calls for you to cook them or leave them to stand for 2-3 minutes in boiling water).

Once done, drain the noodles and add them to the main pot. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if necessary!

Remove the meat and vegetables from the broth and serve the Húsleves like this, with the broth separate from the meat and vegetables.

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