Hungarian Mushroom Soup is an earthy fall soup with lots of fresh mushrooms, paprika, fresh dill and the rich tang of sour cream. Get step by step instructions for this cozy autumn meal.
It’s chilly out. It’s dinner time. You’re hungry. Maybe you’ve got other hungry folks around you. You could heat leftovers, call for take-out, or…make Hungarian mushroom soup ~ it’s ready in under an hour!
Hungarian mushroom soup is a traditional Hungarian soup famous for its rich and velvety texture and distinctive flavor profile. I love this kind of recipe because it makes use of common ingredients (mushrooms, onions, butter, olive oil, paprika, broth, and sour cream,) but blends them together to produce a new and exciting meal. Sweet Hungarian paprika is a key characteristic of this soup; it’s warm and fruity, but not at all spicy or hot. The mushrooms add earthiness, and the sour cream provides creaminess with a tangy note.
Hungarian mushroom soup ingredients
This easy Hungarian mushroom soup recipe is straightforward and quick cooking, making it a great workday meal for the fall and winter.
- fresh mushrooms
- I use cremini, the little brown mushrooms. Buy the whole ones and slice them yourself if you can. The sliced mushrooms can be used in a pinch, but aren’t as fresh.
- salted butter
- Hungarian sweet paprika
- This is the most widely used variety of Hungarian paprika. It is made from sweet red peppers and has a bright red color. Sweet paprika has a mild, sweet, and earthy flavor without significant spiciness.
- chicken stock
- I like the flavor of chicken or beef stock, but of course use veggie or even mushroom broth for vegetarians.
- soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
- this contributes another layer of umami to complement the mushrooms.
- dry sherry or white wine
- you can leave this out if you don’t do alcohol, but it adds a really nice depth of flavor to the soup. Make sure it’s a dry drinking sherry ~ don’t use cooking sherry (or any cooking spirit, ever!)
- lemon juice
- so many soups and stews benefit from a final pop of lemon juice for acidity.
- gives the soup some body and a nice sheen.
- half & half or whole milk
- sour cream
- the crowning glory of Hungarian mushroom soup, you’ll stir it in at the end for a creamy tangy finish.
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- fresh dill
- dill is added as a garnish just before serving the soup. You can sprinkle chopped fresh dill on top of each bowl of soup to enhance its flavor and appearance. You can use dried dill, but fresh is much better.
what kind of mushroom to use?
In Hungary csiperke or white button mushrooms, and barna csiperke or cremini mushrooms, are commonly used in soups. My personal choice is cremini because I love the earthy color and flavor.
- White Button Mushrooms: These are the most common and widely available mushrooms. They have a mild, slightly earthy flavor and a tender texture. White button mushrooms work well in Hungarian mushroom soup, providing a subtle mushroom taste.
- Cremini Mushrooms (Baby Bella): Cremini mushrooms are similar to white button mushrooms but have a slightly deeper flavor and a firmer texture. They add a bit more richness to the soup compared to white button mushrooms.
more exotic mushrooms to try
If you use larger mushrooms you’ll want to chop rather than slice them for the soup.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms have a distinct savory and slightly smoky flavor. They are firmer than white button mushrooms and can provide a more robust mushroom taste to the soup.
- Porcini Mushrooms (Boletus edulis): Porcini mushrooms have a strong, nutty, and earthy flavor and can be used in Hungarian mushroom soup to add depth and richness.
- Chanterelle Mushrooms: Chanterelles have a fruity, slightly peppery flavor and are a popular choice for adding a unique and sophisticated element to the soup.
- Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, sweet flavor and a tender texture, making them a suitable option for Hungarian mushroom soup.
why I dry sauté mushrooms for this soup
My dry sauté method for cooking mushrooms simply means I slice and cook them off in a dry pan without any oil or butter. The natural moisture in the mushrooms releases and prevents sticking. This concentrates the flavor and caramelizes the mushrooms for superior results. This gives you intensely flavored fond (the browned caramelized bits that accumulate at the bottom of the pan,) which is otherwise difficult to get in a veggie soup.
what you want to know about Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- How to make Hungarian mushroom soup vegan
- Use olive oil or vegan butter instead of butter, soy sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce (which contains anchovies,) your preferred vegan cream substitute like coconut milk or cashew cream in place of half and half, and a plant based sour cream. My friend Lindsay at Cotter Crunch has a recipe for you.
- How does this recipe compare to the Moosewood Hungarian mushroom soup?
- The ingredients for most Hungarian mushroom soups are pretty standard, with minor variations. The Moosewood Cookbook’s Hungarian mushroom soup recipe is similar to mine, but is lighter on the mushrooms, does not use fresh dill (thanks 1970s!) and uses flour instead of cornstarch.
- What can I use instead of dill?
- Go ahead and use fresh parsley in place of dill.
- Can I blend this soup instead of using any thickener?
- Yes, you can. I might use an immersion blender to just partially puree the soup, leaving some mushroom slices for texture.
- Can I make Hungarian mushroom soup in the Instant Pot?
- I don’t recommend it, the pressure cooker is not needed for this quick cooking soup.
- Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
- Again, I don’t recommend, because there is no need. The soup cooks quickly and would become over-cooked in the crock pot. What you can do is keep the soup warm for serving in the crock pot, if you’d like to serve it to a crowd or on a buffet.
- Can I freeze Hungarian mushroom soup?
- Dairy based soups can be tricky to freeze, but this one should do ok because it calls for full fat dairy stabilized with cornstarch. Cool it down completely before freezing, and thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating gently on the stove.
Here are some ways to round out your Hungarian mushroom soup meal ~
- Sour Cream and Onion Biscuits
- Buckwheat Honey and Caraway Rolls
- Easy Dutch Oven Bread Recipe
- 3 ingredient biscuits
- Everything Bagel Knots
- Buckwheat Biscuits
- Buttery Garlic Knots
What to drink with Hungarian mushroom soup
- Light Lager: A Czech Pilsner or a German Helles is a refreshing and mild choice that won’t overpower the soup’s flavors.
- Wheat Beer: A Belgian Witbier or a German Hefeweizen offers fruity and slightly spicy notes that complement the creamy and earthy qualities of the soup.
- White Wine: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Red Wine: Pinot Noir or Merlot.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- large Dutch oven
- 2 pounds mushrooms, trimmed and sliced*, I used cremini mushrooms.
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/3 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth, you can also use vegetable or mushroom broth.
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup sour cream
- handful of fresh dill, snipped
- Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan add the mushrooms to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release their moisture and start to brown. Note: you will get some nice browning on the bottom of the pan ~ that's good, it will become great flavor in the soup. Just don't allow that to burn. Remove the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pot melt the butter. Saute the onions for several minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the paprika and continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, for a minute or two more.
- Add the sherry or wine and stir as the liquid starts to evaporate.
- Add the mushrooms back into the pot (along with any accumulated juices) with the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and salt.
- Bring up to a simmer and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir into the soup.
- Bring back to a simmer as the soup thickens. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings. If you are making the soup ahead, stop at this point, allow to cool, and refrigerate. Then rewarm to a simmer on the stove before proceeding to the next step.
- Add sour cream and fresh dill to the soup before serving. Note: sour cream can curdle if heated too much, so I like to let the soup cool a bit before stirring it in. Alternatively you can serve the soup in bowls topped with the sour cream.