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December 3, 2020

Bean soup and gratitude for a successful weekend – SA Cheese Festival 2013

Posted on April 29, 2013 by in soups, vegetarian

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Bean Soup

Bean Soup was the first thing that came to mind when I had to think of something to feed my family tonight and this is my classic way of doing it. Yes, I know the purists make bean soup with spek and all sorts of  other interesting bits and bobs, but by now you know that around here we do things the easy way.

Bean soup is such a classic and food cultures around the world  give it their own unique twist.  This Italian White Bean Soup with prosciutto is not only a feast for the eye, but it is darn tasty too.  If you feel the need for a thick stew-like bean soup, try this Spanish Potatje de Garbanzos, a meal on its own!  Here in South Africa traditionally our fore fathers or mothers have  cooked it for hours and hours  on end and later when pressure cookers arrived in our kitchens, making bean soup became a breeze. I find it quite ironic that after making bean soup in  a pressure cooker that many housewives then went back to the slow-cooker, because the slow-food movement was the next to hit our kitchens.

Bean Soup

I am not sure which meat is the correct one to use in the classic South African version, some swear by spek or pork knuckle and other by shin and marrow bones.  My mom used pork spek that she cut up in small cubes and when the soup was done, the little nuggets of yumminess will float on the top of the soup. Either way your bean soup will be delicious, even if you decide to make it totally meat free, like I did here. A very cheap, easy and filling meal! Before I get to today’s recipe, I have a few thank you’s to share.

SA Cheese Festival

We have just had the annual SA Cheese Festival and wow, what a festival it was too.  I have been cooking at this festival for the last 3 years now and  honestly it is growing in stature each and every year. So a big thank you and shout out to the team at Agri Expo! What a super bunch of  people to work for, nothing is ever too much to ask and every little detail is seen to. Mariana,  Liezl and your team, your dedication and positive spirit is a huge contributing factor to the success of the festival. I applaud you! The PR ladies, Charlene and Yolandi from CN Communications and Jakes and Karen from Go4Word who made my cooking experience so hassle-free, thank you! Checkers for showing excellent customer service, well done team!

A huge thank you to Alet Erasmus from Creative Cuisine and her most amazing team who did all the hard work and prepping at the back so that I can cook amazing food!  I could not have done it without you!



willow creek

creative cuisine pantry

Then last but not least my amazing sponsors, Fairview with your award-winning cheeses and Sonnendal with extraordinary  yogurts, cream and milk products.  Willow Creek Olive oil for supplying products, thank you!I feel honored to have been able to cook and represent your amazing product at a prestigious event like this. Thank you!

Thank you to my faithful listeners and readers, who attended  my shows and stopped to say hello, I wish I had the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and chat for a while……

My family,  for keeping things going when mom’s not around…. I thank you and love you dearly!

Back to the soup!


Bean Soup

serves 8 people


1 x 500 g red sugar beans

1 large onion chopped

45 ml olive oil

15 ml smoked paprika

2 cloves


salt pepper

1 lemon

50 g tomato paste


Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Remove all the  beans with black marks or some stones if you find the. The next day, heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the onion, paprika and clove until the onion is soft and slightly caramelized.  Add the beans, cover them with boiling water and allow to cook  for  at least 1 hour on low heat. Replenish the water when needed.  When you can take a bean out the pot and squeeze it between your fingers and it is completely soft, your soup is ready. If not, cook some more. Now add the  tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and always finish off with a squirt of lemon juice.

Serve with chunky slices of ciabatta wrapped in bacon if you need a meaty kick, or just sprinkle  with parsley or parmesan and enjoy!

Bean Soup


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16 Responses to “Bean soup and gratitude for a successful weekend – SA Cheese Festival 2013”

  1. Maretha Barnard 2 May 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    lyk baie lekker en ek gaan dit defnitief probeer!!

    • Jacqui 2 May 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Baie baie dankie vir die wonderlike “easy cooking” geheime, my gesin geniet dit terdee!!

      • nerinatimm 3 May 2013 at 10:57 am #

        Ai, dis lekker om te hoor Jacqui!

    • nerinatimm 3 May 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Laat weet of julle dit ook geniet het!

    • Janet Pillai 1 June 2014 at 8:01 am #

      Dear Tina I am still raving about your course at Cooks Playground last Saturday and woke up this morning with a solid resolve to make your fabulous bread and one of your soups. We were a family of 8 and my dad the only income earner. The family occupied a massive house with many lounges dining rooms and even a pantry. I grew up thinking we we’re fabulously wealthy as our house was always filled with people who ate my moms meals and often slept over. Needless to say when I archived my dad’s papers years later, I realized it was my moms ingenious money management, sustenance gardens and innovation that allowed up to eat like royalty. This type of bean soup aka sugar bean curry served with rice, traditional bread and atchar on the side, was the best comfort food ever. It is still a staple on a Monday in my home and those of my siblings.Thank you for your honest simple food it is the way many families sustained themselves. Regards Janet Pillai

      • nerinatimm 2 June 2014 at 2:26 pm #

        Oh Janet, this is so good to hear these stories, this is what drives and inspires me to cook! Thank you for your attendance, your email and this comment. I do appreciate it more than you know!

  2. Baglady 3 May 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Hmmm water my mond nou sommer.

    • nerinatimm 3 May 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Ons kan gerus ‘n potjie sop deel!

  3. Zirkie 3 May 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Dit was so lekker om jou te sien en jou assistent te kon wees! Die sop is net die regte ding vir hierdie weer! Lekker naweek!

    • nerinatimm 3 May 2013 at 10:57 am #

      En jy was ‘n wonderlike assistent!

  4. Louzanne 30 April 2015 at 8:48 am #

    En as n mens vleis wil by sit bly al die bestandele dieselfde?

    • nerinatimm 2 May 2015 at 8:48 am #

      Ja, ek sal lekker skaapskenkels gebruik! Onthou net sout en surigheid kom laaste by ander kook die bone nie sag nie!

  5. Herman 1 May 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    klink mos na die regte ding hierdie…!!

  6. Davin 27 August 2018 at 6:48 pm #

    What can I substitute the tomato with or just leave it out?

    • nerinatimm 28 November 2018 at 4:35 pm #

      You can omit tomato if it bothers you, maybe add a few drops of vinegar for acidity!


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