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Hungarian Recipe: How the famous Jókai bean soup is made

The Hungarian bean soup was already the favourite of people in Hungary and beyond but renowned writer, Mór Jókai, made it even more famous.

Jókai bean soup recipe / Photo: Szöllősi-Kiss Orsi

Jókai called it an "angel's boot" in his novel 'The Sons of a Stone Hearted Man.' Since then, there have been countless versions. Here is how to prepare one of the most famous versions.

For the soup

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  • 250g of broad beans with larger grains
  • 1 small smoked knuckle (approx. 600g)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 small tuber of celery
  • 200g of flaming sausage
  • 1 small head of red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cc. paprika
  • 200ml sour cream

For the pinch

  • 100g flour
  • 1 egg
  1. We soak the beans and the shank separately the day before. The next day, boil them quietly in freshwater flavoured with bay leaves for 40-45 minutes. In the meantime, clean and wash the vegetables and cut them into larger pieces. Cut the sausage into rings.
  2. After the cooking time is over, add the vegetables to the juice and add approx. Cook for 45 minutes until all ingredients are soft, then remove the shank from the soup, debone it, and cut the meat into bite-sized cubes.
  3. For the pinch, knead the flour with the egg, a pinch of salt, and a little water into a hard dough. Pinch pea-sized pieces of it with floured hands and leave to dry.
  4. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil, sauté the red onion and garlic in it, sprinkle the flour over it, fry it a little, then pull it aside, sprinkle it with paprika, and mix it. Thicken the soup with it.
  5. Add the knuckle, the ringed sausage and the pinch, and boil the soup once more. Served with sour cream.
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