Jókai Bableves

Bean Soup
for 5 litre saucepan – serves 8 – 10


  • smoked ham hock (csülök)
  • sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped some garlic
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 kg diced pork
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 medium carrots, large slices
  • 2 parsnips, same
  • 5 tins of kidney beans*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 smoked sausage like Debrecener**
  • flour
  • another small amount of paprika
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 capsicum
  • fresh parsley
  • malt vinegar


  1. Place the ham hock in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, put the lid on. Bring to the boil then simmer for a couple of hours. Take out of saucepan, let cool. Keep water.
  2. Chop up ham hock meat. Eat the fat as you go with Dominic or feed to chickens – don’t put in the soup!
  3. In 5 litre saucepan put oil and onion, cook till glassy and add paprika and garlic – mix well, don’t burn.
  4. Add diced pork and mix well over high heat until nicely brown.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Just cover with water from hock – bring to boil – simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Add carrots, parsnips and some more hock water and cook for 5-10 mins.
  8. Add kidney beans (don’t drain). Stir well.
  9. Put lid on and bring to the boil. Cook for about another hour.
  10. Add ham hock meat and bay leaves.
  11. Slice sausage and fry in oil and small amount of paprika.
  12. Add 2 generous spoonfuls of flour and mix to make a roux. Add to soup.
  13. Dice tomato and capsicum and finely chopped parsley – add to soup with a splash of malt vinegar. Cook for a further 15-20 mins.
  14. Serve with sour cream and crusty bread.

    *with apologies to tradition! If you like you can use 1 kg dried kidney beans and they have to be soaked overnight, washed and cooked separately. (I did this in the early days in Budapest.)

    ** in Australia I use a decent kabanosi, when I can’t get to a Hungarian deli. I have also discovered that chorizo works well.