Goulash is a Hungarian stew. I did a fair bit of research before starting this recipe – there’s nothing worse than attempting to recreate a regional dish and accidentally offending people by making it incorrectly (and believe me, people will tell you if you do!). As far as I can tell, there’s not really just one correct recipe. Goulash has spread far and wide across Europe, and every region has their own version. Some use beans, some use potatoes, or pasta, or peppers… and obviously the traditional version uses meat too. So I suppose I should start this post with a disclaimer: This is not a traditional goulash recipe! It’s just my own take on it. And I added aubergine (eggplant), because it’s flipping delicious. I don’t even care.
Anyway, silly disclaimer out of the way (and I bet I’ll still get an email from someone telling me off), onto the aubergine goulash. It’s a beautifully rich stew that’s packed with veggies, beans, and a little bit of pasta to make it feel extra hearty.
I used aubergine, carrots and cabbage in my soup, but really you can throw in whatever veggies you like – onion, pepper, courgette, potato… this is definitely a great fridge clearer. A tin of kidney beans adds protein, and then comes the all-important smoked paprika (my favourite spice ever). You could also add some chilli powder if you like things nice and spicy. Make it your own.
This is just the kind of meal I crave in the winter – it’s warming and comforting, but super healthy too. Much as I would love to be chowing down on a big bowlful of cheesy pasta every night, meals like this are a bit more sensible, and actually just as enjoyable. The aubergine goulash itself is vegan, though I did serve mine with some crusty bread and butter (incredibly underrated), and a dollop of sour cream on top wouldn’t go amiss either.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large aubergine (eggplant), cut into 1 inch dice
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1/4 white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 400 g good quality tinned tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
- 500 ml vegetable stock (~ 2 cups)
- 400 g tin kidney beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 70 g uncooked pasta (~ 1 cup)
- Black pepper
- To serve : sour cream, crusty bread (optional)
Heat the oil in a very large saucepan or casserole dish, and add the diced aubergine, sliced carrot, and thinly sliced cabbage. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, kidney beans, and smoked paprika, and mix well to combine. Add a lid to the pan, and leave to simmer gently for around 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Add the uncooked pasta to the pan, and leave to cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to your liking. You can add an extra dash of water if you'd like the stew to be a bit more soupy. Season generously with black pepper, and serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional) and some crusty bread.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.