Hungarian Lentil Soup with Kielbasa – Lencseleves

The cuisine of Hungary isn’t very well known outside of its boundaries, which is a shame because the country is home to many fantastic dishes including soups.

In Hungarian cooking, flour and lard are often used to form a “roux,” which helps thicken and flavor this soup. Sour cream is another favorite soup ingredient, often stirred into the pot just before serving for a pleasant tanginess.

Lentil soup (called Lencseleves in Hungary) is often eaten on January 1, as Hungarians believe it will bring them luck for the New Year. Regardless of when you eat it, I hope you find this lentil kielbasa soup delicious and lucky.

This recipe makes a very thick, almost stew-like soup; so if you prefer a thinner consistency add additional water as it cooks and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.



1 pound green lentils, rinsed thoroughly in cold water
8 cups cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½-pound kielbasa or smoked ham, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lard
¼ cup sour cream
A few sprigs parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

How To Make Hungarian Lentil Soup with Kielbasa

Rinse the lentils thoroughly with cold running water

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and saute the onion, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes

Saute vegetables








Add the garlic and paprika and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more

Add garlic and paprika








Add the lentils, bay leaves, salt, pepper and kielbasa or ham

Add lentils








Pour in the water, bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer









Cook until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes

In a small saucepan or skillet, melt the lard over medium heat and brown the flour in the fat until golden in color

Flour and lard








Make a roux








Add about 1 cup of the soup into the flour/lard mixture and cook until smooth, stirring frequently

Add soup to roux








Pour this back into the soup and stir well

Add the sour cream and let simmer for 5 more minutes

Add sour cream








Stir once again to incorporate everything

Stir Together








Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed

Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve –  a spoonful of sour cream on top is always good!

Top with sour cream


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