Eisbein and bean soup

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Prep Time: 30 minutes*
Servings: 6
Cooking Time: 4 hours
  • 250 ml - speckled beans, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 250 ml - white beans, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 30 ml - olive oil
  • 1 - onion, chopped
  • 2 - large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 - stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 - cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 - large (about 500g) Eisbein
  • 300 g - smoked pork bones (see tip)
  • 2 - bay leaves
  • - a sprig each oregano and thyme
  • - about 2L water
  • 80 g - flat-leaf parsley
  • - fresh lemon juice
Fresh lemon lifts the flavour of this nostalgic favourite. Remember, don’t add salt at the beginning of the cooking time because it prevents the beans from softening; season at the end.

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic until soft and glossy. Drain the beans and add them, along with the meat and bones, bay leaves, oregano and thyme, to the sautéed vegetables and cover with water (about 2 L, but use your discretion). Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for three hours until the meat falls off the bone and the beans are soft. Regularly skim off any foam that forms on top of the soup.

2 Remove the meat and bones from the soup and allow to cool slightly. Use a potato masher to mash the beans – this helps to keep some texture in the soup and you can judge how chunky you want it. Otherwise, use a stick blender.

3 Flake the meat and add it back into the soup along with the parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: I discovered this ingredient at Food Lover’s Market; it adds an extra smoky flavour to the soup. If you struggle to get them, you can use ordinary pork bones or simply leave them out.

*plus soaking time overnight

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April 2023

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