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. Cook ham hock in large saucepan of water for a couple of hours. Take out of saucepan, let cool.
  2. Chop up ham hock meat and keep water. 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 till nice and brown and coated.
  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).
  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.