Bab Leves (Hungarian Bean Soup)

Total Time
4hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs

Pronounced bab le-vesh.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Quick soak method - Boil beans for 5 minutes in enough water to cover them completely, then cover pan and let soak for 1 hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans and put them in a large pot.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, carrot, leek, garlic, and meat.
  4. Add stock plus enough water to cover 2" above the beans and meat; bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender (2 1/2 - 3 hours), adding water as needed to keep the beans covered; then remove meat to a separate plate.
  6. In a heavy saucepan, melt fat or warm oil and sauté onions until they wilt.
  7. Mix in the paprika and then the flour.
  8. Gently fry, stirring constantly until flour turns golden beige (2-3 minutes) (be careful not to scorch the flour and not to get any on you).
  9. Add the parsley.
  10. Thin roux with 1/2 cup to a cup of the broth from the soup; mix well, then slowly pour back into the soup.
  11. Let simmer for 10 minutes (then if soup is too thin simmer for 5-10 more minutes; if too thick slowly add hot water and simmer for 2-3 more minutes).
  12. Remove from heat and let cool.
  13. Blend some soup into the sour cream to keep it from curdling when you add it, then add it to the soup.
  14. Mix in the vinegar and taste soup for seasonings.
  15. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and return them to the soup.
  16. Reheat soup before serving.
Most Helpful

Excellent flavors and the aroma in your kitchen. The key is not to use cheap paprika but the Hungarian Paprika. I used smoked ribs for full flavor. Very easy to put all together a truly hardy soup with square noodles yummy !!!!!!!!!!

Laszlo 7 September 17, 2008

Very nice, flavour-some and whole-some soup. I made this for my Hungarian Husband and was very much live he used to have when he was a kid.. Thanks

EllieSos April 17, 2008

My husband is Hungarian and although he smilingly says 'it's not like my Mum's' - he loves this soup, thank you! Our two year old can't get enough of it either.

jane.cleary November 01, 2008