One of my alltime favourite soups

Bab Leves (hungarian Bean Soup)

1 Lb Lg Navy Or Pinto Beans (soaked In Cold Water Overnight, Or Use Canned)
1 Onion, Chopped Very Fine
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Tbsp Thickener (see Recipe)
1 Tsp Hungarian Paprika (way Superior To Spanish Paprika)
8 Cups Smoked Stock
½ Cup Sour Cream (optional)
Csipetke (see Recipe)

Place The Rinsed & Drained Beans, 6 Cups Of Stock, Onion & Garlic In A Large Pot & Boil Slowly Until The Beans Are Tender.

In A Saucepan, Melt Thickener, Add Paprika, Stir And Add The Rest Of The Reserved Smoke Stock. (the Stock Must Be Cold). Mix And Add To The Beans.

Bring To A Boil, Taste & Adjust Salt, Add Csipetke. Simmer For 5 Minutes, Add Sour Cream (we Never Used It) & Serve.

Grandma Used To Melt Some Lard (hungarian Cooking Always Seems To Start With Lard. It Was Home Rendered Lard Not The Stuff That You Buy In The Grocery Store That Has No Flavour. Use Bacon Drippings To Bet A Better Taste.) Then Sautéed The Onion & Garlic Until The Onions Were Opaque.

She Then Stirred In Flour To Make A Roux. Then Removed From Heat And Added The Paprika To Blend Into The Roux. (removing From The Heat Is Best Because Paprika Will Scorch Very Easily). Then Slowly Added Enough Stock To Emulsify So 

It Wouldn’t ‘fall Apart’ When Added To The Soup.

Smoked Stock

This Stock Is Prepared The Same Way As Ordinary Stock Using Ham Bones & Skin, Heavily Smoked Bacon Rind, Smoked Pork Hocks Or Smoked Ribs, Or Any Combination Of The Above. Liquid Used To Cook Smoked Tongue Can Also Be Used As Smoked Stock.

Because Of The Saltiness Of This Stock Varies, Do Not Use Soup In The Soup Until You Have Tasted It. 

Any Bits Of Meat Adhering To The Bone Are Removed, Diced & Added With The Stock To The Respective Soup.

Can Be Stored Frozen For Months.

Rantas (thickener)

The Recipe Below Makes 2 Tablespoons; However, If Your Are Going To Make Several Hungarian Dishes, You Can Multiply This Recipe & Refrigerate The Extra Thickener.

1 Tbsp Cooking Fat (preferably Lard)
2 Tbsp Flour

Melt Fat, Mix In The Flour & Gently Fry To Golden Beige Colour, Stirring Constantly. Use Low Heat; The Flour Scorches Easily.

It Keeps For Months Refrigerated In A Tightly Covered Jar.


1 Egg
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Flour

Place Flour On A Small Board, Making A Well In The Flour, Add Salt & Egg, Mix Taking Up The Flour Bit By Bit. Knead Well. This Should Be Avery Stiff Dough.

Stretch By Hand Into A Plate Sized Circle And Pinch Off Bean-sized Bits To Drop Into Boiling Soup.

Easier If Your Fingers Are Floured Or Oiled.