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Jókai Bableves

Bean Soup Jókai Style

This variation of bean soup was named after 19th-century Hungarian novelist Mór Jókai, who was a big fan. It was among the top 10 in the soup category in a 2010 online vote to find Hungary’s favorite dishes. This is a translation of a recipe published on konyhamester.hu. It serves six people.

600 grams smoked pork knuckle
3 pairs kolbász
200 grams dry beans
100 grams carrot
100 grams parsley root
50 grams celery
60 grams flour
30 grams onion
1-2 cloves garlic
100 milliliters sour cream

Pre-prepare the beans and put them and the knuckle in a pot with 2-2.5 liters of cold water. Add clean, whole carrots, celeriac and kolbász and cook on low heat until ingredients are soft. Remove everything but the beans, set vegetables aside, remove bone from the knuckle, dice the meat – when it has cooled off to lukewarm – and cut the kolbász into circles. Make roux from a small amount of fat, onion, garlic and a little paprika and thicken the soup with it. (The recipe specifies that the roux has the color of a zsemle, which means the flour has to be fried in fat until light golden brown.) Add salt if needed. Put the knuckle and kolbász back into the soup, bring to a boil and add csipetke. When the pasta is cooked, serve the soup with some sour cream.

  1. Cést Moi says:

    Rokfort has great Jokai Bab leves.

  2. budapeter says:

    What is parsley root? Do you mean parsnip?
    How do you cut colbasz into circle? Do you mean that I should slice the colbasz?

  3. Vándorló says:

    @budapeter: “What is parsley root? Do you mean parsnip?” It looks like parsnip, but it ain’t. It’s parley root, like the recipe says. “How do you cut colbasz [sic] into circle? Do you mean that I should slice the colbasz [sic]?” Glad you managed to figure that out. You’re smart.

  4. Brenton says:

    My absolute favourite hungarian dish. Since i got it the first time as a child (served in a small little bogrács just for me!). Fantastic but: never order it as a starter! It is so addictive you won’t stop eating and all you want is more! ;-)
    And above that, in it’s original serving, it is everything but not a light starter! So be sure you’re really really hungry or just order a big portion of this fantastic dish! If i go on like that, i will need addiction treatment… :-)

  5. Miroslav Kruts says:

    I fully agree with Brenton above. Jokai bableves
    is the most delicious soup invented by humans. It
    is also true that it’s highly addictive. Nicotine
    and alcohol are kids’ toys comparing to Jokai.

    My wife and I shared a bowl of this magnificent
    and very nutritious dish in the Ukrainian
    Transcarpathia, in a small town called Beregszasz.
    The serving was 450 gr (according to the menu). I
    threw out the towel somewhere close to the 250th
    gram, I guess. When my wife was done with what
    remained she regretted ordering the ‘veal a-la
    Budapest’ for the main course. The order for the
    dessert had to be canceled.

    Having read the recipe at the top of the page I
    only wish I could cook this soup at home (I live
    in Russia). But to make it taste as good as
    authentic Hungarian most important ingredients
    (sausage and lard) MUST be either home-made or
    come from a very expensive deli store. In my case,
    neither option is realistic.

    When’s the next flight to Budapest?

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