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.

Support Cook and Eat at Home. Purchase a PDF of the Smoky Balkan White Bean Soup recipe for $1.00.


Beans and Escarole

Beans and Escarole an Italian classic and a long-time family favorite.  As a side note, the Dutch oven pictured is vintage 1940’s Magnalite made from re-purposed post-war aluminum; it was used by my Mom for decades and now enjoys continued use in our kitchen. 

Escarole, with its leaves of bright green and white, heart of yellow-green and white tender new leaves and lightly-bitter taste, combines with creamy cannellini beans and the panache of pancetta to make Beans and Escarole a cold-weather dinner favorite.  Any leftovers should be refrigerated, then reheated gently and consumed within a day or two of preparation.

Select a fresh, firm head of escarole, avoid wilted ones or heads where the leaves are falling off the base, a sign that the escarole is not fresh. Cannellini beans are the traditional bean used in Beans and Escarole, but feel free to substitute small white beans or great northern beans.  Using canned beans, as we’ve done here, makes for a relatively quick preparation.  You can also start with dried beans which requires a little bit of planning ahead, see the note below regarding their preparation.   Prepare Beans and Escarole with a Sicilian Orange Salad starter for a simple and satisfying Italian dinner.

Beans and Escarole

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 1 hours, 20 minutes Serves: 4

Support Cook and Eat at Home. Purchase a PDF of the Beans and Escarole recipe for $1.00