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How to Make Fish Soup

This tasty Hungarian fish soup recipe is a real delicacy, and it is often served at Christmas. This bright red fish soup, which is known as “halaszle,” is made with mixed river fish. It is traditionally made in small kettles over an open fire. Although there are different halaszle recipes, ground red paprika, onions, river fish, and green bell pepper feature in most of them. Do not be afraid to add plenty of paprika, since this is what gives fisherman’s soup its typical red color and spicy flavor.

This flavorful Hungarian soup is always served with white bread, and traditionally pasta with cottage cheese and sour cream is served as an entree after the soup. Every Hungarian region has its own hasazle recipe, but the following features tomato, onion, parsley, paprika and red wine, as well as the fish, to keep the flavors relatively simple.

A lot of easy fish recipes call for sea fish such as cod, hake, tilapia, or tuna but sometimes it makes a change to enjoy freshwater fish. Perhaps you have a keen fisherman in the family, in which case you might even be given the carp and other fish as a gift. Now you know how to make a delicious authentic Hungarian soup recipe with these fish.

How to Make Hungarian Halaszle

SummaryPrepare your fish soup in the true Hungarian style. Carp and your choice of freshwater fish are mixed with red wine, vegetables and paprika for this richly flavored dish.


  • 1 large carp, about 3 lbs
  • 1 lb mixed freshwater fish
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 8 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika powder
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 peeled fresh tomato
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Clean the fish and cut away the scales, fins, teeth, eyes and tail.
  2. Wash the fish using cold water, then open it and discard the chitterlings.
  3. Alternatively you can get a fishmonger to prepare the fish for you.
  4. Slice the fish into 1 inch slices and sprinkle salt over them.
  5. Cook the carp’s head in water until soft, then strain the resulting liquid to make a fish stock.
  6. Put the salted fish slices in the fish stock.
  7. Slice the tomato and bell pepper and add the slices to the fish stock.
  8. Add a pinch of salt and bring the soup to a boil.
  9. Add more water if necessary.
  10. Add the wine and paprika and cook until the fish is tender.
  11. Remove the fish filets with a slotted spoon and divide them between 6 bowls.
  12. Ladle the rest of the soup over the fish filets.
  13. Sprinkle the parsley on top.
  • Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
  • Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
  • Number of servings (yield): 6
  • Culinary tradition: Hungarian

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