Brown Bean Soup

This subtle flavored, comforting winter wonder –  is one of my favorite soups from childhood. It was traditionally slow cooked in a cast iron Potjie pot on a smokey  camp fire – you can use a pressure cooker – allow  15 mins or cook overnight in a slow cooker.

It is important to simmer it gently for the whole day to bring out the flavor. Traditionally my family used pork knuckle as the base to this soup but I prefer beef shin. If you want a vegetarian version leave out the beef and bacon.

  • 500g Speckled Beans ( Sugar Beans)
  • 6 beef shin bones
  • 1 stick of finely chopped Celery
  • 4 leeks finely chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 allspice berries – optional
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 litres of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
  • chopped parsley to garnish – vegetarian option
  • 100g of bacon chopped small and crispy fried to garish – for those who love meat.

Soak the Speckled Beans overnight. In the morning, rinse beans well in a sieve under running water.

Transfer to a pot, fill it with boiling water, and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. Rinse beans well.

Place beans in slow cooker.

Fry onion in a pan, with a drizzle of olive oil, until translucent. Add to the slow cooker

Add garlic cloves and fry for a minute. Add to slow cooker.

Fry your beef soup bones or shins in the pan until browned. Add to slow cooker.

Add 2 cups of warm water to the pan and simmer. After about 10 minutes, add the water to the slow cooker. Add the rest of your water

Add finely chopped carrots , leeks and celery

Add allspice cloves and season with salt and pepper

Put the slow cooker on auto for the whole day. Stir occasionally. Or cook slowly in Potjie Pot on a low coals all day

Remove shin bones – Leave chunky or blend until smooth and serve with parsley or crispy bacon bits sprinkled on the top along with fresh bread and butter. It goes well dash of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Author: Leanne Gammon

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