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Hungarian Tidbits

Hungarian Rich Lentil Soup

lencse levesTraditionally Hungarians make lentil soup on New Years Day as a symbol or promotion of desired financial prosperity in the new year.   The recipe can be easily altered to make a delicious vegetarian version, or made even more spicy by using sliced gyulai or similar paprika sausages, anything smoked will come close to authentic and delicious.  The frankfurter version is also very popular.

Ingredients for 4 portions

  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 100 g smoked lardons/smoked bacon cut to fine cubes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 200g (~ 1 cup) green lentils
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of (Hungarian) paprika powder
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 medium potatoes diced
  • 1 medium parsley root
  • a small bunch of fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp of sour cream
  • 2 frankfurters/person, either sliced into disks or left in whole
  • 1000 ml (4 cups) of water or stock

How to make

  1. Start off the diced lardons in a little oil on low heat, until they are melting
  2. Add the onions, garlic and cook on medium heat for a minute or two till soft and translucent
  3. Stir in the paprika then the lentils
  4. Pour the water in and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are nearly cooked
  5. Add the black pepper and salt to taste
  6. Drop in the sliced carrots, parsley root and diced potatoes and cook till tender
  7. For the last 5 minutes of cooking add the frankfurters, usually these are pre-cooked and only need heating through, but best to check the cooking instruction on the packaging
  8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves and serve with sour cream.

TIP: Enrich the dish with a bit of diced chorizo, very nice!

12 thoughts on “Hungarian Rich Lentil Soup

    1. Hi Ernie, think there is such thing as parsley root which may not be available or popular where you are, not many people heard of it where I am, in the UK. They look like parsnips, aromatic and mostly used sparingly in soups and stews, and then of course there is parsley the green leaves, two different things.

  1. Correction to my previous comment: Some of your wonderful recipes refer to parsley root, but I think PARSNIP is the correct term. Please consider!

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