This bean soup with Eisbein is the perfect rainy day pick-me-up. Filled with rich and fresh flavours, this soup is the perfect immune boost.
The powerhouse bean
For the soup, you will be needing “speckled” beans, also known as borlotti-, cranberry- or Roman beans. Before starting with the soup, make sure to soak the beans for as long as possible, preferably overnight, This will soften them and reduce the cooking time once it’s added to the rest of the soup mixture.
Speckled beans will add a rich creaminess to the soup and has a nutty sweet taste to them. And they are quite the nutritional powerhouses as they are packed with low-fat protein, fibre and folate. They also contain many minerals such as iron, zinc and potassium.
Eisbein for the win
For the best results, we would recommend using Eisbein as the meat ingredient in the soup. Traditional Eisbein is pickled ham hock that is usually cured and slightly boiled. And as the pork boils, it will infuse with the other flavours. And that is exactly what will happen with the pork as it simmers with the garlic, celery, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and lemon.
In the case that you cannot find Eisbein to use in the soup, pork shank will be the perfect replacement.
- 500 g speckle beans, soaked overnight
- 30 ml olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 – 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 stalks celery, chopped, with the leaves
- 1 kg smoked eisbein or pork shanks
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 lt water
- 80 g flatleaf parsley
- juice of 2 lemons
- extra lemon to serve
- 250 g diced bacon
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until soft and glossy.
- Drain the beans, add to the saucepan the eishbein, and all the other ingredients.
- Add water, about 2 liters, ensure the meat is completely covered.
- Bring to the boil, and let it simmer on very low heat for about 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove the meat from the soup when it is soft, let it cool slightly.
- Remove the fat, and flake the meat, and add it back into the soup along with the parsley, lemon juice, season to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- *Serve with sliced lemon and fresh bread.