Monday, October 14, 2013

Bograč, Spicy and Salt-Free Goulash Soup

Bograč, Slovenia's spicy goulash soup, seemed like a good candidate for a low-sodium makeover.  I had made it twice before, with slightly different seasoning variations each time.

To compensate for the lack of salt, I figured I'd better season to the max, this time around. I used the complete array of vegetables and flavorings from the two previous versions, but increased the quantities.  I did this the easy way: by cutting down on the meat and keeping everything else constant.

For the recipe and the verdict, read on.


Bograč, Spicy and Salt-Free Goulash Soup

1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
1/2 lb. pork stew meat, cubed
1 large onion, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and prepared as directed
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 t. caraway seed
1 T. paprika (half hot, half smoked)
2 t. fresh marjoram
black pepper to taste
small hot pepper, a few slices, minced (optional)
1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced
½ c. crushed tomatoes
1 lb. potatoes, cut in chunks
water to cover
1/4 c. red wine
olive oil

Before beginning, prepare dried mushrooms as instructed on package, or use these directions: Soak in warm water until softened. Drain, cover with fresh water, and simmer until tender.    

Brown onion in olive oil, using a large pot or Dutch oven. Add garlic and continue to brown. Remove to another bowl. Add meats to oil left in pot and brown. Add the peppers and spices and continue to brown. Return onion and garlic to the pot. Add re-hydrated dried mushrooms (with or without cooking liquid), crushed tomatoes and enough water to cover. Simmer until meat is tender and almost done. Add potatoes and wine and simmer another hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with additional parsley.

The verdict:  Delicious!  The first night, we served the bograč with cooked greens alongside.  The second night, my husband also made some cooked kasha.  The earthy flavor went particularly well with the spicy goulash.

This version did come out more like a thick stew than a soup.  That can be adjusted easily by adding more water, or even some extra wine!


  1. Someone just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. I just “Liked” his page and now came to your site. I love when people share blogs. Denise

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Denise! (Who sent you?) I will have to check out Mr. C :-)

  3. You made bograč! Great :). It looks delicios.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I have been hoping to find some "real" Slovenian bloggers and yours is perfect! (I like having the English translation right after the Slovenian :-)