From Iceland — Soup Tuesday: Hungarian Goulash, Iceland's First Refugees

Soup Tuesday: Hungarian Goulash, Iceland’s First Refugees

Published October 13, 2015

Soup Tuesday: Hungarian Goulash, Iceland’s First Refugees
York Underwood
Photo by
York Underwood

In 1956, Iceland welcomed its first refugees: 52 Hungarians. Goulash traces its origin to ninth century Hungary, with the word Goulash meaning “herdsman meat.” Iceland was and is a fairly isolated place, so new arrivals of any type usually meant new editions to the country’s flavour palette. It’s often through food that different cultures can share and combine. You can see the similarities between the Goulash and the Icelandic Meat Soup: both are based on what was available, and both were used to rejuvenate and keep warm.

Cumin is an important spice in Iceland’s history. On the island Viðey, where Yoko Ono’s recently relit Peace Tower resides, cumin still grows along the hiking trails. Also, Brennivín, Iceland’s take on aquavít, is flavoured with cumin–giving its strong, distinct flavour.

This is our twist on the Hungarian classic, a great addition to the Icelandic dinner table.

Hungarian Goulash: Iceland’s First Refugees

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time:  120 minutes


700g of Beef

2     Large Yellow Onions

3     Green Peppers

4     Large Potatoes

3     Cloves of Garlic

5     Tomatos

2    Cans of Tomato Puree

2     Handfuls of fresh Marjoram

3     Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar

2     Tablespoons of Paprika

1     Tablespoon of Cumin

1     Tablespoon of Butter and enough Beef bouillon to handle three litres of water.

Sour Cream for garnish


1. Chop the onion, green pepper and garlic. In a large pot, lightly sauté the onions, green pepper and garlic in butter until soft .

Goulash OnionGreen Pepper Goulash

2. Cube the beef. Add to the pot and lightly brown.

Beef Goulash

3. Add 500 ml of  water with beef bouillon, paprika and Red Wine Vinegar–keep boiling until the stock is reduced by half.

Reduced Goulash

4. Dice up the tomatoes and marjoram.

Tomatos GoulashMajoram Goulash

5. Add the tomatoes, marjoram, cumin, tomato puree and the rest of the water and beef bouillon. Season well and let simmer for 90 minutes.

Simmer Goulash

6. Dice the potatoes and add to the pot. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Potatoes Goulash

7. Serve in a big bowl with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle on some marjoram, cumin and fresh ground pepper.

Hungarian Goulash

Remember to share this recipe with your friends and loved ones.

Also, send us your recipes. Let’s get through this winter together.

One Soup Tuesday at a time.

WTF is a Soup Tuesday?

As the sun yet again makes her draining descent towards winter solstice, it has become clear: fall has arrived. The darkness in store will likely bring a lot of you down, but don’t fret or give up—there are a number of methods for fighting off the winter blues: Reading, lýsi, sex, drugs, alcohol, and—of course—soup. Now, doing most of those things would be mostly inappropriate, if not illegal, at the Reykjavík Grapevine’s offices (if it were one of those “appropriate” offices)—except for maybe the lýsi and reading. And of course, the soup.

Lýsi is kinda disgusting and reading is for nerds, so to combat the coming full-scale attack of the SADs, we decided to started a new tradition to help us make it through the coming winter: SOUP TUESDAYS. Yes! Soup Tuesdays! Every Tuesday, we’ll be making a different soup in our shitty little office, document the process and then show you how to make one for yourself.

You can also send us your best recipes (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email), with a photo, so we can share soup knowledge throughout the world. Together we can make it through the bad weather.

Solace and Solidarity in Soup.

Happy Soup Tuesday.


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