Every plate of this Hungarian bean soup is a confession of love. Goulash takes second place to this jewel. Comfort food for the soul!
My smoky bean soup is named by famous Hungarian writer, Mór Jókai, who once said: “Flames of passion may eventually be extinguished at the altar of love. But the oven’s warmth lasts forever. Every plate of food is a confession of love, or vice versa a silent cry for divorce. – This recipe will be loved by everyone!
Hungarian Bean Soup (Jókai Bableves)
- 1 lb dry beans*
- 1 large smoked ham hock*
- 1 TBSP oil
- 1 cup 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled, sliced
- 1 parsnip, peeled, sliced
- 300 g green or red pepper, diced
- 1 Jalapeno pepper, veins removed, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 140 g tomatoes, cubed*
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 TBSP Vegeta
- salt to taste
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 3 cups water
- 1 TBSP vinegar
- Cook smoked ham the same day or a day before: fully cover the ham with water in a large pot. Cook it for one hour, covered. You will part of the ham, and some cooking water later.)
- Soak the beans, covered with water overnight. I usually just cover the beans with water in a pot, and bring it to boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then cover and let it soak for one hour.
- In a 6 Qt Dutch oven fry the diced onion on the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add carrots, parsnip, peppers, Jalapeno, and sautee them for anoter 2 minutes. Add minced garlic, and sautee it for 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, bay leaves, Vegeta.
- Strain beans, and add it to the pot.
- Slide the veggies to the side of the pot, creating room for frying the paprika for 30 seconds. (That bring out the aroma.)
- Add 3 cups of the ham’s cooking water, plus another 3 cups water. Cook soup for another one hour, or until the beans are soft.
- Dice the ham, and add to soup.
- Serve hot soup with sour cream and parsley on top.
- Optional vegan version: see Notes.
Notes & Ingredients
- Use Pinto beans or Goya small red beans. In summer, you can find fresh beans or you can use frozen lima deans, if you like. No need to soak the later two beans.
- Use the artisan Hungarian Smoked ham hock: https://hirssausagemarket.com/product-price-list
- Tomatoes: You can use canned tomatoes, if you don’t have fresh.
- Vegan version: optional Liquid Smoke helps, if you need to enhance the smokiness, or you want a vegan version of the soup. For the vegan version replace the meat with 1 pound sliced mushrooms, double the smoked paprika.