A tasty and versatile soup or stew, Goulash, or ‘gulyas’ as it’s known in the Slav language, can include a whole host of different ingredients, but paprika is an essential part. Usually, some kind of meat or a combination of vegetables makes up the base of the dish, with a huge variety of seasoning and spices giving each version its unique signature.
It might interest you to know that you have Hungarian shepherds to thank for the name, as the aforementioned Slavic word ‘gulyas’ translates to ‘cowboy’. Hundreds of years ago, whilst looking after their sheep in the harshest of wintery conditions, the shepherds relied on this dish to keep them warm and suitably protected from the elements. The recipe has been rewritten and changed time and time again down the centuries, and so any claim of an ‘original’ recipe should be viewed with a degree of skepticism.
There are many tweaks and suggestions that you might find, but it’s really up to the chef to determine which of these tweaks they use and which they ignore. The good news is that there are so many variations to try that it will never get boring. Here’s a comprehensive, but not an exhaustive list of a few suggestions.
1. Classic Vegetable Goulash Twist
A vegetarian twist on the classic Hungarian recipe, this delicious and simple dish replaces the proteins found in a traditional soup with a superfood substitution, lentils.
Autumn vegetables such as butternut squash and zucchini create a filling to satisfy the hungriest of bellies, which really makes this a dish that provides comfort, which is of course what it was always intended to do. Treat the family to something new for a weekend evening meal, and if you need to bolster the number of servings, you could always add 1 cup of penne pasta or some more vegetables to stretch it out.
A healthy dollop of sour cream, with its cold and tangy sensations, is a great way to top each serving. There’s something so satisfying about watching the cream melt and become one with the goulash, as it oozes its way into the mixture. Remember to share your new knowledge of where goulash comes from for extra points.