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Hungarian Food - Bean Soup a la Jokai (Jókai Bableves)

Updated on November 2, 2012

Bean Soup a la Jokai

Hungarian Food
Hungarian Food
Bean Soup
Bean Soup
Kifli (Crescent Rolls)
Kifli (Crescent Rolls)
Mor Jokai
Mor Jokai
Mor Jokai Memorial
Mor Jokai Memorial

Hungarian Food

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Kerepsi Cemetary in Budapest

Kerepsi Cemetary
Kerepsi Cemetary


Bean Soup a la Jokai

(Jókai Bableves)


This soup is named after Mór Jókai, the Hungarian dramatist and novelist who died in 1904. Made with smoked pork hocks or pigs feet and smoked sausage and served with sour cream and small dumpling this is a very substantial soup and can be eaten as a complete meal.


I prefer to start with a leftover ham bone if I have one and I substitute kielbasa for Hungarian virsli which is almost impossible to find. I tried choriso, but it has too much paprika for my taste and plain hot dogs don’t have enough flavor.


Contrary to popular opinion, Hungarians use paprika in moderation and only occasionally add hot paprika to food. Hungarian peppers are on the low end of the Scoville scale (5,000 – 15,000 units) nowhere near the level that Bobby Flay and his disciples use.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

1-1/2 Hours


Ingredients for the Soup:

1 Lb. of Smoked Pork Hocks

½ Lb. of Smoked Kielbasa sliced 1/8 inch thick

8 Oz. of Dry Pinto Beans

1 Carrot scraped and sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 Parsnip peeled and coarsely chopped

1 Medium Onion peeled and finely chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons Lard or Butter

1 Tablespoon Flour

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Salt

Black Pepper to taste.

1 Tablespoon chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

½ cup of Sour Cream

Csipetke (Little Pinched Dumplings)


Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

  1. Soak the beans overnight in two quarts of cold water. Next morning simmer over low heat until tender (about 2 hours). Drain the beans when you are ready to add them to the soup.
  2. Simmer the smoked ham hocks in two quarts of water for 2-3 hours until the meat is ready to fall off of the bone. Remove the meat to a separate dish to cool and reserve the liquid for the soup. Bone the hocks when cool and cut the meat into small pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the onions in the lard or butter over low heat until wilted. Then add the parsley and flour and continue cooking and stirring over low heat until the Roux is lightly browned.
  4. Immediately add one cup of cold water, the paprika and the garlic and cook while stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes to a boil and thickens.
  5. Add the drained beans, the ham pieces, the carrots and parsley slices and the sausage to the two quarts of reserved liquid and bring to a gentle boil. Then stir in the roux and continue cooking for about 10 minutes over low heat.
  6. Meanwhile make about two cups of csipetke and add them to the boiling liquid. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes until the small dumplings rise to the surface.


Serving Suggestions:

Serve this soup with a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl and some kifli (Hungarian crescent rolls) or pogacsa (Hungarian biscuits) on the side. If you don’t bake, simply serve some good hard rolls and butter.


Bean Soup a la Jokai

Kumarno, Slovakia where Mor Jokai was born and Budapest where he is buried

Kumarno, Slovakia:
Komárno, Slovakia

get directions

Budapest, Hungary:
Budapest, Hungary

get directions

Vienna, Austria:
Vienna, Austria

get directions


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    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks for your interest. I never even thought about adding dumplings to bean soup until I came across this recipe.

    • Joe Macho profile image


      9 years ago from Colorado

      Unique but simple recipe. I'm always looking for staple recipes of foreign cuisine and this is perfect. Thanks for the recipe. Voted up and useful.


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