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Jókai bableves (Hungarian Bean Soup)

Named after Jókai Mor, the great Hungarian writer.


  • 7 oz (200 g) dry beans (pinto)
  • 8 ¾ oz (250 g) smoked pork hock (boned)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in small cubes
  • 1 medium parsnip, cut in small cubes
  • 1 slice celeriac, cut in small cubes
  • 8 ¾ oz (250 g) smoked sausage
  • ¾ oz (20 g) lard
  • 1 ½ oz (40 g) flour
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • white vinegar, to taste
  • ½ - ¾ cup (1-2 dl) sour cream
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped


Soak the bean in lukewarm water overnight, also soak the hock if necessary to take away salty taste. Begin cooking the beans, the hock, and the bay leaves in 1 ½ quart (1 ½ liters) cold water (usually, the salty taste of smoked hock makes the addition of salt unnecessary).

When the beans and meat are tender, add the cubed vegetables and the sausage, and simmer, adding water to the level where it began (you can tell by the residue line that remains).

After 15 minutes remove the cooked meat and sausage.

Make a lightly browned roux from the lard and flour flavor with onion, garlic and paprika and stir in the soup. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Flavor the soup with a little vinegar and the sour cream and simmer for a short time, about 3 minutes.

Cut the smoked hock into small pieces, slice the sausage and put them in the simmering soup. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: Nipped pasta (csipetke) will make the soup more substantial. One or 2 tablespoons sour cream on top of the soup will make it even more appetizing.