I know this tasty white bean soup from my grandfather. When I was a little kid growing up in Bulgaria, I loved hanging out with my grandfather and learning new things. He was making the best roux based bean soup and all kinds of different soups, so I remember watching him making it and studying every move. Well, over the time I have further refined and put some of my little secrets.
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For the soup.
|White beans .||2 1/2 cups.|
|Green or red bell pepper.||1.|
|Dry red pepper.||1.|
|Black pepper.||To taste.|
|Vegeta or vegetable seasoning.||To taste.|
|Celery (root and leaves).||1.|
|Lard or oil.||1 tbsp.|
For the roux.
|Vegetable oil.||4 tbsp.|
Cooking the soup.
Soak the beans in water for 6 hours. Dispose the water and put in pot, where you are going to cook the soup. Add enough water to cover the beans and bring to a boil. Dispose the water and repeat the process one more time. Fill half of the pot with fresh water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour or until beans are soft to touch. Due to the different beans on the market, cooking time may vary. To reduce the time of cooking in half use a pressure cooker. If using pressure cooker, skip the steps with disposing the water after boiling.
After the beans have been cooked, add finely chopped vegetables – onion, 1 medium carrot, celery, 1 green or red pepper, 1 tomato or tomato paste and 1 whole dried red pepper. If needed add more water to fill half of the pot. Also put the following spices to your taste-salt, black pepper, savory, lovage, mint, parsley, vegeta or vegetable seasoning, paprika, fresh or dry dill and tbsp. lard or vegetable oil. Simmer for 15 min. or until the vegetables are soft to touch.
Preparing the roux:
In saucepan placed on medium heat put 4 tablespoons vegetable oil and 3 tablespoons flour. Stir constantly until flour becomes slightly golden in color. Add tbsp. paprika. Meanwhile turn up the heat and bring the pot with bean soup to boil. Add a pinch of sugar and the roux. Leave for 5 min. Stir occasionally. Finish the soup with a little bit of finely chopped parsley, dill, lovage and celery leaves.