Polish Bean Soup {Zupa Fasolowa}

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Today I’m serving you another hearty and aromatic Polish soup. Zupa fasolowa [zoo-pah fah-soh-loh-vah] fills my kitchen with a smoky and robust aroma of smoked bacon perfumed with fragrant marjoram. This is a very classic combination of Polish flavors. Marjoram is a very popular spice used in Polish cooking, especially in meat dishes, sausages and soups. I’ve not come across this combination of flavors here in the US, but think that beans, smoky meat and marjoram go together like bacon and eggs or peanut butter and jelly, or Milly and Vanilly… you get the point.

To bring in the smoky flavor I’m using smoked slab bacon from a local butcher. I encourage you to go the extra mile to get a nice piece of meat for this. Smoked ham hock or smoked pork ribs (if not covered in BBQ sauce), a piece of smoked Polish sausage or even a leftover piece of grilled brat will work. Anything with a real smoke will get you where you need to be. No short cuts!

Polish Bean Soup {Zupa Fasolowa}

  • Yields: 3 quarts
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 4 oz of smoked slab bacon (a small smoked ham hock, a few smoked pork ribs, or a smoky link of Polish sausage)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 peppercorns and allspice (whole)
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz / 425 g) of Northern Beans (or other white beans)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbs of dried marjoram
  • 1/2 cup of cold water + 2 tbs of flour

Instructions

  1. Place slab bacon in a medium pan and heat to release some grease (if using ham hocks, place 2 tbs of butter in a medium pan instead to sauté the onion. Add ham hocks when adding water. If using smoked sausage, dice and sauté with onions). Add onions and sauté for about 5 min.

  2. Add bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice, salt, carrots, potatoes and water. Drain beans and add to soup. Simmer on medium-low for about 15-20 min, until all veggies are soft.

  3. To finish off the soup, mix cold water with flour until well combined and add to hot soup. Bring to boil to thicken. Add marjoram, stir and taste. Add more salt, if needed.

Notes

Let rest a bit for flavors to combine (about 30-60 min). Serve hot with a slice of hearty bread.

Enjoy and smacznego!

Anna

 

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11 Comments

  1. Many thanks for posting the Zupa fasolowa recipe. It would never have occurred to me to include marjoram and allspice with bean soup, but the combination works well. I’m curious about one thing: no garlic?

  2. This recipe makes me think of a cold and rainy Sunday in late October…and how perfectly wonderful a bowl of this soup would make such a day! Thanks for sharing all your recipes with us!

  3. My mother made a Butter Bean soup, BUT the Butterbean is what we always called
    The yellow wax beans!! Probably a different part of Poland. Anyway the soup included the beans ,potato, carrots, onion, meat (usually leftover from a roast) salt, pepper…and at the end , a tbsp. of vinegar and 2 tbsp. of sugar!!!

  4. I’m making this soup today. I haven’t eaten any yet, but it sure smells good. I used a smoked ham hock.
    Though smoked, the package said it was uncooked. There is a little lack of clarity in this recipe on how to use the ham hock. When you say to add it with the water, it seems like it goes in with the vegetables and will be done in 20 minutes. My ham hock is still cooking – I took the vegetables out when it became clear they’d be mush if I left them for as much time as the ham hock needs. Maybe I read something incorrectly? If not, perhaps you could clarify that a ham hock will take longer, or give some more specific advice on how to handle it.
    Thanks for a lovely website and blog.

  5. Being Canadian, my husband said that my split pea soup tasted different from his grandmothers. But he liked the marjoram flavour.

  6. Making this soup today for my Polish, sister in law arriving soon with her husband! Never had this before, but I love soup. Hoping she will enjoy it! Thank you for sharing this.

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