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Hungarian Food - Fisherman's Soup (Halászle)

Updated on December 8, 2012

Hungarian Fisherman's Soup - Halaszle

Hungarian Food
Hungarian Food
Fish Soup
Fish Soup
The Danube River
The Danube River
Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton
The Tisza River at Szeged
The Tisza River at Szeged
Paprika Market in Budapest
Paprika Market in Budapest

Hungarian Food

Cast your vote for Fisherman's Soup (Halaszle


Hungarian Fisherman’s Soup (Halászlé)


Hungary is landlocked so that traditionally, all of its fish come from its rivers and lakes. The most notable ones are the Danube River, the Tisza River and Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe.


Hungarian fisherman’s soup (halaszle) is normally made with fresh caught fish prepared in a narrow-bottomed, black kettle hung on a tripod over an open fire.


The fish used varies with the location, but usually include carp or catfish and some smaller varieties. First a court bouillon is made from the head, skin and bones. Then some onions and a tomato are cooked in the stock and pureed.


Next the broth is poured over the fish pieces, paprika and green pepper slices and everything is gently cooked for about 10 minutes until the fish is just done. Some people add a teaspoon of hot paprika and the soup is often served with some cooked vermicelli on the side.


Carp is generally not eaten in the United States so I recommend that you use a combination of two parts catfish to one part freshwater fish such as perch. It is important that the fish is fresh so you should have your local fishmonger clean the fish for you and save the head, skin and bones for you.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

1-1/2 Hours



1 2-3 Lb. Catfish

1 one pound Perch or similar fish

2 Medium Onions peeled and finely chopped

1 Medium Tomato peeled and chopped

1 Medium Green Pepper cored and cut into ¼ inch slices

2 Tablespoons Sweet Hungarian Pepper

1 Teaspoon Hot Hungarian Pepper (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

8 Ounces of Cooked Vermicelli

2 Quarts of Water with One Teaspoon Salt

2 Medium Onions Peeled and cut into quarters



  1. Make the fish stock by adding the heads, skins and bones to the two quarts of salted water and gently boil for 30 minutes and then strain the broth.
  2. Add the chopped onions and tomato to the fish broth and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Puree the mixture in a blender.
  4. Place the fish pieces in a four-quart soup kettle and pour the fish broth over them.
  5. Bring the ingredients to a boil and add the sliced peppers and the paprika and continue simmering for ten more minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.


Halaszle in Szeged, Hungary

Fish Soup at Tiszacsege, Hungary

Fish Soup Festival in Hungary


show route and directions
A markerBudapest, Hungary -
Budapest, Hungary
get directions

B markerLake Balaton, Humgary -
Lake Balaton, Hungary
get directions

C markerSzeged, Hungary -
Szeged, Hungary
get directions

D markerDebrecen, Hungary -
Debrecen, Hungary
get directions


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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and bookmarked. Thanks you reminded me of my mom's great fish soups. This one I'll definitely try soon.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Delicious..I am bookmarking this...I voted up debbie