I have mentioned this here on the blog a few times already, but lemme repeat myself 🙂 I simply love soups! Thick, thin, vegetable, meat based… all of them 🙂 And today, I would like to show you how I prepare one of my favorite ones. It’s a thick and filling Bean soup with a solid dose of vegetables and smoked ribs.
This particular soup can easily replace a main dish, since it’s packed with protein, potatoes, vegetables and it just tastes great. Definitely give this bean soup a try, you won’t regret it. As any soup, it can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, so it’s the perfect make ahead type of dish.
Making this bean soup is very easy, it just takes some time to prepare everything and then cook the beans long enough for them to become soft. The beans need to soak in water for at least 2-3 hours, but for the best results, put them into water the day before.
Let’s start cooking, shall we? 🙂
Bean Soup Ingredients
500g (1lb) dry beans (soaked overnight)
0.7-1kg (1.5-2lbs) smoked ribs or similar
2 parsley (parsnip) roots
some stalk celery or celeriac
handful of flat leaf parsley
4 bay leaves
500g (1lb) potatoes
water as needed
2-3 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp flour
salt & pepper to taste
flat noodles or similar pasta
4-5 cloves garlic (optional)
How to make this bean soup
Watch the video or scroll down for step-by-step instructions:
1. Start by boiling the smoked ribs in salted water, I used about 2 litres which equals 8 cups or 2 quarts. It’s a good idea to cut the ribs into smaller pieces so they cook faster. Having trouble getting smoked ribs? Smoked knuckle works fine too, or some other cut of smoked pork.
It’s best to use something with the bone in, since it’s going to result in a stronger stock, but a nice cut of smoked pork ham should work fine too. And please pick something SMOKED, this way the bean soup will be better. Cook for about an hour or maybe an hour and half. We need the meat to become tender so it’s easy to take if off the bones.
2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Wash and peel the vegetables, then slice them into pieces. Smaller ones work better for this bean soup, as they fit on the spoon nicely.
I use carrots, celery, parsley root or parsnip and kohlrabi for this soup… but you can use different types too. I’ve seen people using spinach, onions or even kale so feel free to experiment.
3. Now to the beans. I always use dry ones for my bean soups, but there are people who opt in for canned ones. While it definitely speeds up the cooking process, I’d say the soup is simply better when using dry ones. Just make sure to soak the beans properly before cooking them. 2-3 hours is a minimum but for the best results, soak them in water overnight. I’m using a mix of 3 different bean types today, it gives the soup a bit different flavor, but you can totally use just one type.
4. 60 minutes or so have passed and it’s time to strain the ribs. Do NOT discard the “water” the ribs have been cooking in. We will use this simple smoky stock as the base for the bean soup. For the soup, I’m using a bigger pot, about 4 litres which is roughly 4 quarts.
5. Strain the beans and add them into the pot. At the same time, add all the sliced vegetables into the pot as well. Season with black pepper and drop in 3 or 4 bay leaves. Do not add any salt at this time, the smoked ribs are usually quite salty and we added some salt when boiling them too. You can always add more salt later on, but it’s impossible to remove any 🙂
6. My bean soup always comes with a lot of finely chopped flat leaf parsley, like a big handful of it. Add it to the pot, cover with a lid and start simmering. It will take at least 45-60 minutes for the beans to soften. Depending on how well you soaked them, it might take longer.
7. Since we have some time again now, let’s work on the rest. Cut about 500 grams (1 pound) of yellow potatoes into smaller pieces, then store them in cold water so they do not oxidize.
8. The ribs should be cold enough to handle by now, so take all the meat of the bones and slice it into small pieces.
9. Now it’s time to check the beans, once they become somewhat soft, it’s time to add the potatoes and our meat from the ribs. Do not add potatoes sooner than the beans become soft please, or else they will break up before the bean soup is fully cooked.
10. You might need to add some more “liquids” to the soup to make the pot full. You have two options, either add more stock or water. When adding water, I also drop in a bouillon cube for a stronger taste.
11. Cover the pot again and cook for about 40-45 more minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and fully cooked. We need to add one more thing to reach the desired taste and consistency of this bean soup. I’m talking about a simple paprika based roux.
It’s very easy to make, just heat up 3-4 tablespoons of oil, add 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of paprika. Stir everything properly and saute for a minute or two. Once the paprika and flour mixture absorbs all the oil, start adding water in batches. Keep stirring to make sure no lumps can form. We aim for a thick but runny paste-like consistency.
12. Stir the roux into the boiling soup, do not add all of it at once, always give yourself some time to mix in every batch properly. We don’t want any lumps in the bean soup. Usually I would add 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic now too, but I skipped it today because my wife doesn’t like it. But definitely add some unless you have a problem with it. Once the roux and garlic is in, cook the soup on low for 10 more minutes and then give it a taste.
13. This bean soup must be intense and somewhat salty in flavor! So I decided to add about a teaspoon of salt, some black pepper and one more teaspoon of red paprika. I left the soup simmering for 5 more minutes and it was ready to serve.
14. My favorite way of serving this bean soup is in a large soup bowl, topped with flat noodles (or similar pasta) and a side of bread. When serving for myself, I also add some chili flakes to give it some heat.
And there you have it! Comforting bean soup that can warm your body and soul. Enjoy!
Optional tips for this soup.
- Many people start by sauteing 1 or 2 finely chopped onions, to give the soup a stronger base, try that too.
- I didn’t add garlic this time, because my wife has a digestive problem with it, but it’s a very good addition and makes the soup taste better for sure. 3-4 cloves (crushed) is enough.
- This soup is often prepared spicy, add some chilli peppers or hot paprika, if that’s your thing.
- To make the soup more thick, cook the potatoes for longer so they start falling apart. You can also add a part of the potatoes early on so they break up completely.
- Can’t get any smoked meat? You can still reach the smoky flavor by using smoked paprika instead of the standard one.
Bean Soup With Vegetables And Pork Ribs
- 500 g dry beans soaked overnight
- 0.7-1 kg smoked ribs or similar
- 1 kohlrabi
- 3-4 carrots
- 2 parsley (parsnip) roots
- some stalk celery or celeriac
- handful of flat leaf parsley
- 4 bay leaves
- 500 g potatoes
- water as needed
- 2-3 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp flour
- salt & pepper to taste
- flat noodles or similar pasta
- 4-5 cloves garlic optional
- Cut the ribs into smaller pieces and cook for 1-1.5 hours.
- Wash and peel the vegetables, then cut into small pieces.
- Once the ribs are tender, strain them and use the simple "stock" you just made as the base for the soup.
- Strain the soaked beans and add them to the stock. Add vegetables, bay leaves, season with black pepper and drop in a handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley.
- Cover the pot and simmer until the beans start to become soft. It will take at least 45 minutes up to an hour and half, depending on how long the beans have been soaking in water.
- Once the beans start to soften, add diced potatoes and the meat that you took of the bone and sliced.
- Cook for 40-60 minutes or until the potatoes are almost fully cooked.
- Prepare a paprika based roux. Heat up oil and add 2 tbsp of paprika and flour. Stir properly and once the oil has been absorbed, start adding water in batches while stirring. Aim for a paste-like consistency.
- Stir the roux into the soup, make sure no lumps form. Add 4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed. This step is optional.
- Give the soup a taste and add salt and pepper or even paprika, if needed.
- Cook for a few more minutes and we are done.
- Serve in a bowl, topped with flat soup noodles or similar pasta type.