Lamb Soup With Sour Cream (Palócleves)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Hungarian chef Andrea Nemeth mixes sour cream with flour before adding it to this paprika-spiced lamb and vegetable soup. It thickens the soup and prevents the cream from curdling. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Beth Kracklauer's story The Art of Soup.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 13 cup canola oil
  • 10 oz. lamb shoulder, cut into ½″ cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Hungarian hot paprika
  • 4 oz. russet potato, peeled and cut into ½″ cubes
  • 4 oz. yellow snap beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 34 cup sour cream, plus more to garnish
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. roughly chopped dill


Step 1

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add lamb, and cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to a plate; set aside. Add garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, and pepper to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add lamb, paprika, and 4 cups water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until lamb is barely tender, about 20 minutes. Add potatoes and beans, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lamb and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and flour until smooth; add to soup, and stir until smooth and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. To serve, ladle soup into 4 serving bowls, swirl with more sour cream, if you like, and garnish with dill.

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