Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recipe #6: Боб чорба (Bean Soup)

Bulgarians love their боб чорба (bean soup). I’m not a huge fan, as it tends to make me even gassier than usual, but it’s not a bad meal. It’s also cheap, reasonably healthy, and easy to prepare. Here's a fairly standard recipe.

2 cups white beans
1 onion – diced
3 carrots – peeled and diced
1 hot pepper – diced (can be omitted if you dislike spicy foods)
1 tomato – peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic – diced
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Sort and wash beans. Soak in cold water for at least four hours (preferably overnight). Drain and rinse beans. Put beans in pot, cover in fresh water, and bring to a boil. Drain beans, discard dirty water, rinse beans, return beans to pot, cover in fresh water, and bring to a boil again. Repeat process until beans have been brought to a boil three times (this theoretically makes the beans less gassy although you couldn’t prove it by me). After bringing beans to a boil a third time and discarding dirty water, return rinsed beans to pot with fresh water. Add sunflower oil, onion, carrots, garlic, and hot pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer until beans begin to soften. Add tomato, savory, and salt and pepper to taste. Thin/thicken soup to desired consistency with flour and water as necessary. Simmer another 20-30 minutes or until beans are soft.

A bowl of Bulgarian Bean Soup.

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