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Soup of the Bakony Outlaws

Martha Holmberg

Servings: four as a meal or eight as a first course.

Bakony is a mountainous region of Hungary near Lake Balaton, and the outlaws must have been both gourmet and gourmand to inspire this hearty, flavorful soup. I’ve seen other “Bakony” recipes, and mushrooms seem to be the common bond. Maybe they were roving mushroom thieves. You’ll notice that many of the ingredients are diced pretty fine, which gives the soup a wonderful texture and lots of flavor, but if you need to save some time, you can chop a bit more coarsely, though you should keep the bacon and veal very small.


  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • 2 onions, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 oz. bacon, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 8 oz. thin veal cutlet, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 to 3 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
  • 2 medium carrots, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium turnips, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1/4-inch dice or 4 canned seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
  • 3 Tbs. snipped fresh dill, plus small sprigs for decoration

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per first course serving
  • Calories (kcal) : 390
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 270
  • Fat (g): 31
  • Saturated Fat (g): 14
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 430
  • Carbohydrates (g): 18
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 12


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cook the onions and bacon over medium heat until the onions start to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes to release and develop its flavor. Add the veal and just enough stock to cover it. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, turnips, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, and more stock, reserving about 1 cup; don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t cover the vegetables at this point. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, another 20 minutes. Add a little more stock if the soup looks too dry during cooking, bearing in mind that more liquid will be added later.
  • Put the sour cream in a small bowl and stir in the flour with a fork or whisk; stir in the cream. Pour this into the soup and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the chopped fresh dill and toss some sprigs on top for decoration, if you like.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • primelkov | 01/25/2009

    Excellent. I use dried porcini, and when feeling guilty, yogurt or kefir added at the table in place of sour cream.

  • jmajs | 12/13/2008

    I wasn't thinking much of this soup from the recipe. Man, was I wrong. Loved it. Family loved it. Have made it many times since.

  • GeoffKrajeski | 10/28/2008

    This recipe is well worth the time it takes to make! It's full of flavor and has become a family favorite of ours. I would recommend using a mandolin for all of the root veggies in this recipe to cut down on time.

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