Recipe: Grandma’s Hungarian Green Bean Soup

This is the perfect soup to make on a cold winter day, or any day for that matter. Just be prepared to set aside half of your day to make this flavourful, indulgent soup. This recipe has been handed down to me from my Hungarian grandmother. I’ve attempted it only twice in my life since recently sitting down with her to record the recipe for myself. Everything about this soup brings back wonderful memories of visiting my grandma and grandpas place when I was younger. There’s nothing better than the smell of dill that fills the air when this soup is on the stove. Hungarian green bean soup (Friss Zoldbab Leves) combines fresh dill with green beans and sour cream to make a creamy, full bodied soup.

You’ll need:

  • 3lbs of green beans (ends cut off, and halved)
  • 15 cups of cold water
  • 1 extra-large pot
  • 1 bundle of fresh dill (stems removed, slightly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemon pepper


  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 5-7 tbsp of bacon fat
  • 6-8 tbsp of flour

Sour cream mixture:

  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 500ml container of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

1. Prep green beans by cutting off the tip of both ends and cut into halves. Rinse well under cold water.


2. Fill your extra-large pot with cold water (approx 15 cups). Make sure that the beans are fully covered with water. Add in the garlic cloves, dill, bay leaves, bullion cubes and salt. Stir to combine and boil on low to medium heat for three hours.



3. When there’s approximately 40 minutes left, begin to prepare the roux that will be added to the soup. In a small sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, set aside. In a small, deep metal frying pan, melt the bacon fat at medium temperature.


4. Once the bacon fat has melted, gradually add 6-8 tbsp of flour – stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the roux turns a dark orange colour and the consistency is like smooth peanut butter. At that time, slowly add the boiling water and continue to stir until all lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth again. Slowly add the roux to the soup, folding it in.


5. Prepare the sour cream mixture. Empty the sour cream into a medium sized bowl. In the empty sour cream container, combine 3 tbsp of flour and  1/2 cup of cold water- mix until blended. Add to the sour cream and combine.

SONY DSCingredients

6. Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the soup. Stir well.


7. Add 5-6 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of lemon pepper to the soup. Continue to boil for an additional half an hour.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!



This is by far one of my favourite soups to make at home. It’s an enjoyable, relaxing experience and it fills your home with enticing scents. This recipe makes about 4 liters of soup.


That’s a lot of soup! I like to jar some up and give them to my family and friends to enjoy. I also save some for my grandma of course. Her recipe will live on in our family for years to come. I hope your family will enjoy it too!

Happy eating!