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Bulgarian Bean Soup:
Bob Chorba

What's The Big Idea?

A very traditional rural Bulgarian recipe, this is a hearty warming winter soup that makes the best use of locally available produce. There are countless variations, and if one particular ingredient isn't available, simply substitute something similar.

It is traditional of course to use dried beans, soak them overnight, boil them, drain them and then add them to the soup. We've gone for the simpler alternative which is to use tinned beans; they're much quicker and easier to cook, and plenty of different varieties are readily available.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tins of beans - kidney beans, black-eyed beans, borlotti beans, cannellini beans, etc
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

What To Do

  • In a large flame-proof casserole or saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion and carrot for 5 minutes
  • Add the peppers and paprika and cook for 1 more minute, then add the beans and 3 pints of boiling water
  • Add the tomatoes and mint, and season well
  • Cover and simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve with fresh bread

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