Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Croatian Kidney Bean Stew

This recipe is definitely worth trying out. My Stepdad shared with me his family recipe for this flavoursome soup/strew. I like to call it a stew as the taste reminds of meat stews I had pre-vegetarian, full bodied and rich depth if flavour.

The smoked paprika is essential to achieve this gorgeous flavour, we used pimenton which is a Spanish smoked paprika. The paprika is cooked in a flour roux with garlic, this helps to thicken and flavour the soup.

My Stepdad's mother, and grandmother and I'm guessing many generations have been making this for decades. I hope I have remembered the recipe right, my tummy thinks so :)

Dobar tek!

Croatian Kidney Bean Stew


500 g (17 oz) dry red kidney beans
1-2 l water
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegeta
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Bay leaves
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon smoked paprika


Preparing the dried beans:

Soaking the beans in cold water over night will reduce the cooking time. If you have pre-soaked the beans, rinse them, place in a large cooking pot and go to number 1.

If you didn’t soak the beans, place them in a cooking pot, add water and let it boil for a few minutes, rinse and add fresh water.

1. Finely chop onion, carrot and the bell pepper. Add it to the beans and let it boil. Reduce the temperature to medium, cover the pot slightly and let it cook for about 1 hour. Occasionally check if water level has reduced, add additional water to always keep the same level of liquid in the pot.

After 1 hour add all spices. 

2. Cook for another 1 to 1.5 hours. To check if beans are ready take a few out of the pot and squeeze them between your thumb and index finger. If they are soft and creamy, and the skin comes off they are ready. The soup will look thick and it will smell amazing. Now add tomato paste and let it incorporate well into the soup. 

3. It is time now to make the roux to thicken the soup. Peel and finely chop 3-4 garlic cloves. Using medium setting, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small frying pan. Toss the chopped garlic in oil just until fragrant.

Add flour and mix it with a wooden spoon until all crumbs disappear and flour starts changing its colour to a very light brown. 
Now add paprika and again mix well. 

4. Pour the roux into the soup. Give it a nice stir, reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve warm with a slice of a nice, crusty bread.

Enjoy xx

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