Polish Bean Soup {Zupa Fasolowa}

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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