Romanian summer yellow beans broth with vegetables. Meat optional.
I grew up eating this yellow beans broth, and to this day, is still one of may favorites. The yellow beans are one of the first summer veg to appear, after the radishes and spring onions. They are almost celebrated in the region where I come from in the middle of Transylvania.
Living in the UK for quite a long time now, I try to make this as often as I can. Unfortunately, there are no yellow beans in the supermarkets, and I sometimes use frozen. Or kept preserved in jars. Or even better, I have to wait for them to grow in the garden.
There as many ways of making this soup, as many as they are regions in Romania. This is may favorite, the one I grew up with, the one I always make.
- 500g yellow beans
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 stick of celery or 100g celeriac
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 large tomato or a few cherry tomatoes
- 50ml oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh herbs (thyme and parsley)
- Optional: 100g thick cut smoked bacon or lardo
- creme fraiche or sour cream to serve
Small dice the onion, carrot, celery (or celeriac), garlic and pepper. Clean the yellow beans (top and tail) and cut into pieces. Not too big, between 2 and 8cm. Finely chop the herbs. Dice the tomato, again small cubes, or quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Heat up the oil in a pot, add the cubed bacon and cook for a couple of minutes to get it crispy and release all the nice flavour. If you are not using meat, then just start by cooking the veg in the oil.
Put in all the vegetables, apart from the beans and the tomatoes.
Sweat the veg for a few minutes until they start to soften. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Now add the yellow beans, cover with 2 liters of water (you can also use chicken stock or vegetable stock) and bring to a low simmer.
Once it starts to simmer, drop in the tomatoes. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the beans are soft and tender. Lastly, season again to taste with salt and pepper, also vinegar can be used for extra sourness. Sprinkle the fresh chopped herbs over. To taste, it can be served with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.
Alternatively, another method of finishing the yellow beans broth, is by beating a couple of eggs with a large spoon of sour cream. Then pour the mixture into the pot. I like it without, as it’s lighter and the flavour of the beans and vegetables is cleaner, fresher.
Other popular recipes in this category:
- Best Romanian chicken paprikash with flour dumplings.
- Traditional cabbage rolls (sarmale) stuffed with minced pork and smoked meats.
- Chicken and noodles soup.