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Hungarian Style Bean Soup – Magyaros Bableves

hungarian bean soupI call this soup Hungarian style as it is packing in the flavours but really is a quick and convenient version of the traditional and heavier bean soup made with smoked meats and the freshly made pasta “csipetke”. This vesion is completely meat free, made with tinned beans and a few cupboard/fridge ingredients. You could add your own extra vegetables or change them up with the ones listed below.

Ingredients – for four servings

  • 1 (400g) tin of beans in water, I used black eye beans here
  • 2-3 medium carrots, cut into disks
  • 2 medium potatoes diced
  • 1-2 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2-3 tbsp concentrated tomato puree or a chopped tomato
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of oregano or marjoram (optional)
  • 1 level tbsp hungarian paprika powder or any good quality paprika,( smoked paprika would work well here)
  • 750 ml (3 cups) water
  • 150 ml (~ ⅔ cup) of sour cream
  • 1 tbps of flour
  • a handful of small pasta shapes for soup
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice to serve


  1. Saute the chopped onion on the heated oil, add the garlic and cook a bit further.
  2. Take off the heat, sprinkle in the paprika powder, stir around then pour in the 750 ml (3 cups) of water
  3. Back on the heat, drop in the chopped vegetables and diced potatoes, the drained tin of beans and the spices and flavourings
  4. cook till  all of the ingredients are tender, check the taste add more salt or more water if you think it needs it.
  5. mix the sour cream with  a tablespoon of flour, laddle in some of the hot liquid from the soup, combine.  This is to even out the temperature and ensure the soup will be lump free.  Slowly pour in the sourcream- flour- hot liquid mixture into the boiling soup, stir till it thickens slightly
  6. Add a handful of pasta shapes and simmer until the pasta is done according to package instructions.
  7. Serve with a dash of vinegar or lemon juice and fresh parsly sprinkled on top.

4 thoughts on “Hungarian Style Bean Soup – Magyaros Bableves

  1. The Bean Soup is interesting. Growing up it was made simple with kidney beans, onions, russet potatoes, sour cream/flour mixture and bay leaves are a must. As a kid I used to call it the “pink” bean soup because we didn’t drain the cans of kidney beans. My 18 year old son loves making it for himself. I’m lucky to get a bowl or two from the huge pot!

    1. And celery! And if possible use sweet smoked paprika, bacon fat as oil, and a smoked pork hawk. This is the ultimate combo if you have the extra time and ingredients. And soaking dried beans tastes so much better, wholesome and healthy than the canned. Just soak them before you go to bed and cook next day.

  2. Not my grandmother’s bean soup….

    She used dry romano beans (soaked overnight), no carrots or celery or onion.

    A big hunk of sausage for meat flavouring. Simple butter roux for thickening, plus some cream and yes, vinegar!

    Final step was to put an egg into the soup and let it cook.

    Growing up, we had to convince gramma to chop up the piece of sausage (so we wouldn’t fight over it) and add 1 egg per person!

    I still make it today

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