Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup

Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup

A traditional Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup, with a paprika flavoured broth, cauliflower, carrots and delicious mini dumplings that cook in the soup!

What a revelation this soup was. Who knew? Cauliflower soup doesn’t need to be creamy! I spotted this recipe in Saveur late last Fall and put it on my list to try over the Winter. With local Ontario (Fall crop) cauliflower 2 for $5 at the grocery store this week, the moment had arrived to give it a try.

This is a traditional Hungarian soup, known as Karfiolleves. Traditionally (and in the original recipe), hot Hungarian paprika is used in the soup. After reading a few reviews on Saveur, I quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of heat (and apparently a lot of people couldn’t!) The Hungarians must be a spice-lovin’ people.

I adapted my version to use regular paprika with a hit of cayenne for just a bit of warming heat. I also used chicken broth, instead of the original vegetable broth recommendation. It was perfect. Filling and just the right amount of heat to warm me up. A good thing, particularly for today, when we woke to a temperature was -36° C and the forecast high temperature is -22° C.

The dumplings in this soup are very interesting (one of them is pictured on the spoon in the photo below). They call it a dough in the recipe, but it’s really more of a thick batter, which kind of surprised me. They are a nice addition to the soup and add a bit of bulk to the soup, making it more filling, which is especially nice when enjoying it as a dinner soup.

Everyone here loved this soup and it will definitely be going in regular rotation throughout the Winter. I love that it’s a quick, healthy, tasty and meatless soup. If you swap out vegetable broth for the chicken broth, it could be vegetarian, as well.

Cook’s Notes for Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup

This soup is best right when it’s cooked, though it will keep for left-overs.

Don’t add any extra salt until the very end (after the dumplings have been cooked). There is a good bit of salt in the dumplings that will naturally salt the soup for you. I didn’t have to add any extra to mine – just some freshly ground pepper to finish.

Hungarian Paprika Cauliflower Soup

Hungarian Paprika Soup

Paprika Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: Hungarian soup recipes, soup with paprika and cauliflower
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Energy: 374 kcal
Author: Jennifer
This is a delicious way to enjoy cauliflower. The broth is flavourful and the dumplings add some lovely texture to the soup. Add cayenne for some spicy heat, to taste (a bit at a time, until it's just right for you). You probably don't want to add any salt until the very end. The dumplings are salted and will naturally add some salt to the soup.



  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (bit less if using table salt)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter cubed and chilled, DIVIDED
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika (for heat, use to taste)
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock (low-sodium would work well in this soup)
  • 1 small small head cauliflower large stem removed, cut into small florets
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced or diced
  • For garnish: 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped


  1. Make the dumplings: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Add 2 Tbsp. of the butter, and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms (mine was more of a thick batter). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 4 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Add paprika, cayenne and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cauliflower and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a 1/2-tsp. measuring spoon and working quickly, spoon out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup (I just used a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, scooped and gave it a good rap against the side of the pot to drop into the soup), cook, stirring occasionally, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes. At this point, you can do a taste test and add additional salt, if necessary. Add some additional cayenne, if needed, for a bit more heat.
  3. To serve, ladle soup and dumplings into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

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  • Hi
    I just made for tonight. I was cooking your recipe from this recipe soup , Mushroom Marsala Pork Tenderloin for main dish and for Desert Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake.
    Thank you so much for your all recipe for my tonight Dinner !! Amazing.
    This soup also amazing taste for me . I love this !

    Thank you again as always.

  • Is it possible to make this & then leave it on low heat in a slow cooker? I’m thinking of making it for Easter, but i always try and make everything in the morning & then have it staying warm…so I can socialize.

    • Hi Tracy, I’m the same way when I entertain :) That said, I’m not sure this is the best soup for that. I’d worry about the cauliflower and dumplings disintegrating. I would be afraid you would be disappointed in serving it that way. My butternut squash or curried carrot soup, for example, would stand up a lot better, I think.

  • I’m in the process of cooking this right now. It looks and smells soo good. But as I was going along, I realized, the directions don’t say anything about the carrot! So I just threw it in while it simmers for 15 minutes. Hope they’ll be done

    • Oh yes, that’s the right time to throw them in. Sorry about that. Off to fix the directions right now (thanks for the heads-up!)

  • Damn -22C high? That’s way too cold for me. Sounds like the perfect soup to have in a cold day like that. My wife and I love having soup in the fall and winter time.

    • Hi Bob. Yes, it was crazy cold last week, but this week +10C and raining. Such is winter in this neck of the woods. Hope you get a chance to try this soup. Really nice and different soup.

  • Brrr, sounds cold. The soup sounds like just the thing to warm you up! I’m always looking for ways to make cauliflower more interesting, and I’m not interested in mashing it up with cream and cheese to resemble mashed potatoes. Yuk, I’d rather use potatoes! This recipe is going in the bookmarks, thanks!

    • Thankfully, it has warmed up a little here! I think you’ll love this soup. Great flavours and just a nice bit of spice.

  • Jennifer this soup looks so good! My cousin gave me a rather large tin of smoked paprika for Christmas and I can’t wait to try it out on this recipe. Dumplings too? Yes, please! Hope it warms up where you are…we’ve been in the deep freeze for way too long. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks so much, Renee. We really enjoyed it and the dumplings were so fun. I think smoked paprika would be nice in this soup.

      We’ve managed to miss the deep freeze for the past few winters, so this has been a bit of a shock to us here. An old-fashioned winter!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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