Palóc Soup

Restaurateur János Gundel, father of the famous Károly Gundel, created this vibrant green bean soup in 1892 as a birthday present for Kálmán Mikszáth, his regular patron and a renowned novelist and politician. Mikszáth, who wrote about the Palóc people in northeast Hungary, inspired the soup’s name. While the original recipe specified mutton, nowadays, most people prepare it with pork or beef.

Paloc soup plated


Yield: 4-6 servings; Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 500 grams (1 ¼ pounds) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes

  • 1 tablespoon lard (if you don’t have any, you can render pork belly or bacon fat or use vegetable oil)

  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 pinches of ground pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks

  • 250 grams (½ pound) green beans, cut into 2.5 cm (1-inch) pieces

  • 200 grams (¾ cup) sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 2 liters (2.1 quarts) water (or stock)

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Slices of crusty bread



1. Heat lard or oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then sauté minced onion until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
2. Add meat and sear until lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in paprika, caraway seeds, minced garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Add enough water to cover (about 1 liter or 1.1 quarts). Cover with a lid and simmer until pork is tender, around 1 hour and 15 minutes (adjust for other meat cuts).
4. Add potato chunks and green beans, then cover with the remaining 1 liter (1.1 quarts) of water. Cook at a brisk simmer until potatoes are soft but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream and flour. Ladle a few spoons of hot soup into the mixture, stirring to combine.
6. Turn off heat, add the sour cream mixture to the pot, and then turn the heat back on. Stir at a low simmer for 2-3 minutes until the soup thickens.
7. Add chopped parsley and dill, along with lemon juice. Mix well, taste, and adjust salt if necessary. Serve in soup bowls with slices of crusty bread on the side.


Words of Advice:

Experiment with the seasoning at the end; while some recipes suggest chopped dill or parsley individually, a combination of both imparts a well-balanced, layered flavor with woody notes of fresh green.


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