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Hungarian Tidbits

Hungarian Chicken Soup – Tyúkhúsleves

huslevesThis is a cherished traditional starter for any family celebrations, weddings, christenings and very often served as a Sunday lunch starter (lunch is the most substantial meal of the day in Hungary). Lots of vegetables, tender meat chicken and egg noodles in a golden clear hot liquid. The soup is cooked slowly for a surprisingly long time 3-4 hours. The chicken has to be good quality so go for definitely organic/corn fed variety, the best you can found. The cheap kind can’t withstand the longer cooking and won’t be as flavoursome. There are some top tips around such as start cooking in cold water, don’t move stir the dish just drop in the ingredients when needed. Finally strain the liquid at the end to get the clearest soup.


  • 1 smaller organic chicken about 1kg
  • 300g of mixed root vegetables such as carrot, parsley root, parsnip, kohlrabi
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small piece, about 2 inches of ginger root
  • 1 small tomato
  • 50g peas
  • 50g fresh mushrooms
  • 200g cauliflower florets
  • 100g savoy cabbage leaves
  • 10 pieces of black peppercorn left in whole
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 10g/person, very fine noodles

How to make:

  1. Cut the chicken into 4 pieces.  Place in a large cooking pot and cover with cold water and slowly bring to the boil
  2. When comes to the boil spoon off the froth from the top of the liquid repeat as required, the darkish froth is expected and should be skimmed off.
  3. Add the onion – left in whole unpeeled for colour, the clove of garlic – also left in whole, the tomato in whole for the flavour only, the ginger root – left in whole, the 10 peppercorns.  Season with salt.
  4. Cook on a very low heat on a gentle simmer for at least 2 hours, then the cleaned and chopped root vegetables can follow along with the peas.
  5. When the root vegetables are nearly done the cauliflower florets and the cabbage shredded into thin stripes, mushrooms sliced can follow. Cook till all vegetables are tender, the chicken should fall off the bone.
  6. When the soup is ready, take out the chicken pieces set aside and keep warm.  Discard the the cooked onion, garlic and tomato. Strain the vegetables and rince,
    strain the soup liquid again on a very fine mesh strainer, to get a nice clear result.  Cook the fine noodles separately in slightly salted water.
  7. Serve stripes of chicken meat layered with some very fine noodles, then the cooked vegetables covered with the piping hot clear broth.  Too much cooking improves the broth! Clearly :-)

2 thoughts on “Hungarian Chicken Soup – Tyúkhúsleves

  1. I remember my grandmother making the noodles by hand, rolling it out and stretching it out very thin, then cutting them very narrow. I miss her chicken soup!

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