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Brown Bean Soup


Brown Bean Soup

Dutch Brown Bean Soup

Photo © Ellen Schelkers
A Dutch dietary staple, brown bean soup, or bruine bonen soep is nutritious, filling and a cinch to make. A great mid-week meal for the whole family, it goes great with buttered brown bread.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 5 oz. smoked bacon, cubed (145 g)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 5 shallots, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 large leek, sliced in rings
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • 3 lb. canned brown beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed (1.3 kg)
  • 12 oz. tomato puree (375 ml)
  • 3 cups beef stock (500 ml)
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • Salt, pepper and ketjap manis or Worcester sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves


In a large soup pot, fry the bacon in the butter. Add the shallots, carrot, leek and the ground paprika. Mix well. Now add the beans, tomato puree, stock and bay leaves.

Bring the soup to the boil, cover and then turn down the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper and ketjap manis (or Worcester sauce) and then blitz the soup half smooth, using a stick blender or food processor. The soup should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add the celery leaves right before serving.

Serves 4.


Dutch brown beans are also known as Swedish brown beans. If you can not find them, use pinto beans instead.

Add extra stock if you like a thinner soup, but keep in mind that traditional bruine bonen soep is supposed to be a thick, hearty soup.

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