Smoky Balkan White Bean Soup

Smoky Balkan White Bean Soup is inspired by the bean and smoked meat soups popular in the Balkans with a nod to Hungarian goulash soup too.  Here we use white beans, bacon, smoked pork chops and smoked sausage combined with a heady mix of seasonings to yield a hearty, smoky, meaty soup which is a meal all by itself.  Enjoy our Smoky Balkan White Bean Soup for lunch or with a Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad and good bread for dinner. 

Balkan White Bean Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 3 hours plus overnight soaking time for the beans. Serves 4 to 6.

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  • 1 lb dried White Beans (cannellini or navy beans)
  • 2 Tbs. Cooking Oil (Olive/Canola Oil blend is recommended)
  • 4 oz. smoky Bacon
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 3 Bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 10 whole Cloves
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Tbs Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbs Hot Smoked Paprika
  • 1 lb Smoked Pork Chops, deboned and diced
  • 1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 lb Smoked Sausage, sliced into thin rounds
  • Coarse Sea Salt to taste

Balkan White Bean Soup


  1. Rinse the white beans, place in a deep pot and add cold water to cover by 4 inches and soak overnight.
  2. Pour the soaking water out from the beans, add fresh cold water to cover the beans, set aside.
  3. Cut the bacon crosswise into thin ¼ inch wide slices.
  4. Pour the cooking oil into a 12-quart stockpot over a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced bacon to the stockpot and fry the bacon until crisp.
  5. Once the bacon is crisp, add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper to the stockpot and sauté uncovered over a medium heat until the vegetables soften.
  6. Add the bay leaves and seasonings (cloves through paprika) to the stockpot, stir to mix and sauté uncovered for another minute.
  7. Add the diced meat from smoked pork chops and the tomato paste to the stockpot, stir, cover and continue to cook for two minutes.
  8. Drain the beans and add to the stockpot along with the water and sliced smoked sausage. Stir to mix raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  9. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
  10. Taste for salt and adjust before serving.

Balkan White Bean Soup

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