Finishing up the year with another review, let’s talk about soup.
Soup is great, but for whatever reason, we don’t actually make it very often. When we do, it’s usually something more like the Chicken Mushroom Rice soup I reviewed before; something hearty and full of stuff. I make miso soup for breakfast fairly regularly, but it’s barely more than broth. So something firmly in the soup category — thin, full of flavor but not full of chunky ingredients — is a rarity.
This Hungarian mushroom soup is one I saw go at least mildly viral in foodie circles late in 2023. I saw it crop up on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, and I had at least three different Discord communities share the recipe. So, of course, I added it to my list of things to make eventually.
Reviewing the Recipes
Since most of the recipes for this soup are similar, I’m going to go with the one I made (from P+P) and the modifications and suggestions I’d have for it. First, though, the review.
Actually making the soup is super easy. You saute some onion in melted butter, cook down the mushrooms a bit to get them started, then add in the rest to turn it into a soup. Finish it off with fresh herbs and sour cream to thicken it slightly, and it’s ready to go. Zero complaints there.
I will say that a lot of the recipes for this soup have very different pictures to go along with them. Some are a bright, vibrant, almost tomato soup style red. Others, like mine, are a dull brown-orange. This is entirely down to the kind of paprika you use. Some paprikas are much more vibrant and colorful, and even “dye” the foods they’re in; others don’t. It’s purely aesthetic, any paprika will do.
Speaking paprika, my partner and I don’t much care for smoked flavors as much as some people, so our paprika is not smoked paprika. If you prefer a smokey flavor, smoked paprika adds another dimension to the soup for you to enjoy.
Definitely make at least a double batch of soup if you want it to last more than a day or two. With just the two of us having a bowl a night, a double batch lasted three days, so six total servings. It’ll go longer if you’re having it as a side rather than a main dish, though.
This soup comes down to, essentially, three main flavor ingredients. So, it’s important to make the most of those three.
- The broth. I used veggie broth, and I think that was a great option. The mushrooms already give the soup a meatier flavor, so something like a chicken broth would skew too far towards a different kind of soup. A veggie broth with more flavor, like one made with roast veggies, would also be good. The king would be making your own broth.
- The mushrooms. Most of the recipes I find just call for “mushrooms” or, if they specify, say something like button, cremini, or portobello mushrooms. Those are all the same mushroom, by the way. Personally, I think adding in some other mushroom varieties would add more variety to the soup. Try chantrelles, morels, shitakes, or whatever strikes your fancy. I would stick to at most 50/50, possibly even 75% cremini, 25% other mushrooms, to keep the core base intact.
- The dill. The major secondary flavor that makes this soup what it is, is the addition of dill. I highly recommend fresh dill for this. It has a brighter, more pungent note that contrasts nicely with the earthy soup and mushrooms, but which fades a lot from dried dill. Any dill is better than none, but fresh is best by far.
Everything else can be more or less adjusted according to your preferences. The P+P recipe uses soy sauce, which I like for a bit more umami saltiness, but everything else — the onions, the paprika, the fresh lemon juice — can all be adjusted up or down at your leisure.
There’s also the source of cream. The P+P recipe calls for 2% milk, but we only keep whole around (I don’t drink it, but I use it for recipes and my partner drinks it; I do almond milk usually) and it works great. It mostly just makes the base soup creamier. You can adjust your personal servings up or down based on sour cream just fine.
Here’s what I settled on. What would you do differently?
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Soup Pot
- ½ Cup Salted Butter
- 1 Onion
- 2 Lbs Mushrooms
- 6 Tbsp Flour
- 2 Tbsp Paprika
- 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 6 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice Fresh if possible
- 2 Tbsp Dill Fresh if possible
- ½ Cup Parsley
- Melt the butter and saute your onions directly in your soup pot over medium heat. You want the onions to go translucent, about ten minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and stir, cooking until they start to release some of their moisture and shrink, about another 5-10 minutes.
- Mix the flour and paprika into the mushrooms and onions, cooking further for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the stock, soy sauce, and milk. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for another 10 or so minutes.
- When ready to eat, remove from the heat. Mix in the sour cream, lemon, dill, and parsley. Add additional dill and sour cream individually to taste, along with salt and pepper if you like.