Bean Soup a la Jokai – Jokai Bableves

Bean Soup a la Jokai – Jokai Bableves

hungarian bean soup Jokai babeves

Today, warm up with one of the most famous soups in Hungary –  bean soup a la Jokai. Jokai Mór was a writer who was born in Komarno (my town). According to my dad, the inspiration for the main character of his famous novel Aranyember (The Man with the Golden Touch) is related to our family. Also, while he was living in Budapest, he was living in the second district where he had a small vineyard. Katy and I also lived in the second district and I also have a vineyard (not in the second district though)! It is fate! This recipe must be published on Emperors Crumbs!

If they tell you that the soup was named after Jokai because he invented it, that’s a lie. If they tell you that the soup has his name because he liked it, they are wrong, but close. A famous Hungarian food historian Draveczky Balázs said that Jokai’s favorite soup was bean soup cooked with smoked pork trotters. There were no vegetables, smoked knuckle or sausage in that version. According to Draveczky, those were later additions.

I have developed a vegetarian version for Katy. I was amazed with the results – I must admit I liked Katy’s a lot.

Bean Soup a la Jokai

Perfect hearty, winter soup. Thick, spicy with full flavor. A must for the chilly winter days. Depending on your beans, you might need to adjust the amount of water. If you want to keep the health beneficial properties of the beans you should use the water you soak the beans in. Unfortunately, the health beneficial properties also seems to include gas. So, it’s up to you; if you want to reduce the beans’ gas producing quality, boil the beans for 2 minutes, discard the water and wash the beans.

Ingredients

Makes soup for 6 portions

  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 celery root
  • 8 ounc beans
  • 10 ounce smoked meat (e.g. knucke)
  • 5 ounce Hungarian sausage
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf (turkish)
  • 10 cups of water
  • chopped parsley – optional
  • salt

 

 

Method

  • Soak the beans overnight. Hungarian smoked meat tents to be too salty. If that’s the case, soak the meat too.
  • Chop, chop, dice, dice all the vegetables.
  • In a big pot on a low fire saute diced onion. Dice the pepper and add it. Cut the roots into circles and add them. Once the onion is translucent or getting brown add the chopped tomato.
  • Cut the smoked meat into 1/2 inch cubes. Add the smoked meat and the beans, stir and add the water.
  • Cook on a low fire until the beans are getting soft. Anything between 50 min and 2 hours.
  • In a big pot on a low fire saute diced onion. Dice the pepper and add it. Cut the roots into circles and add them. Once the onion is translucent or getting brown add the chopped tomato.
  • Add a 1 or 2 table spoons of flour to the sausage fat and fry it for 1min. Add the mixture to the soup.
  • Let it boil through (1min). Try it and if necessary season it.Because of the smoked meat and the sausage the soup will not need salt.
  • Serve the soup with a big spoon of sour cream and chopped parsley.

 

 

Vegetarian Jokai Bableves

Bean Soup a la Jokai

This is the vegetarian version of the soup. Instead of smoked meat I used smoked tofu, and I was surprised about the results. I might have liked it better then the meaty version.

Ingredients

Makes soup for 6 portions

  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 celery root
  • 8 ounce beans
  • 8 ounce smoked tofu
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1tsp red paprika
  • 1/2tsp pepper
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf (turkish)
  • 10 cups of water
  • chopped parsley – optional
  • salt

 

 

Method

  • Soak the beans overnight.
  • Chop, chop, dice, dice.
  • In a big pot on a low fire saute diced onion. Dice the pepper and add it. Cut the roots into circles and add them. Once the onion is translucent or getting brown add the chopped tomato.
  • Add the beans, stear and add the water and salt.
  • Cook on a low fire until the beans are getting soft. Anything between 50min and 2 hours.
  • In a separate small pot heat up the vegetable oil, add the pepper, and the flour. Fry for cca 1min add the paprika stear and add it to the soup. If necessary you can ad some of the soup liquid to get out the paste from the small pot.
  • Let it boil through (1min). Try it and if necessary season it.
  • Serve the soup with a big spoon of sour cream and chopped parsley.

 

 

2 Comments
  • Laura
    Posted at 14:36h, 18 September Reply

    This soup is so much better with gyönge babb (the fresh beans before drying … they can be frozen or jarred (as my folks do from their allotment produce) and makes for a much lighter soup.
    The bean starch still make it thick …
    It works without meat, or just a bit of pork knuckle … you can even do a proper second course afterwards, or the traditional curd pankakes.
    Magyarország & soup is a match made in heaven !

    • Nadya
      Posted at 14:04h, 20 May Reply

      ah lunchboxes… ocslaioncaly i’ll still take to work, but its not as fancy as yours! Salmon dried fish floss, interesting, wonder if u can find it here in Sydney.

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