Romanian Bean Soup

01 Apr 2023

Serve this hearty, spicy soup with some wholemeal bread for a filling lunch or a main meal. This easy-to-make dish can be as hot and spicy as you like. By adding a dollop of plain yoghurt or reduced-fat crème fraîche to the dish when serving, it becomes a type of Hungarian Goulash!


1 red pepper
1 medium onion
2 x 400g cans mixed beans
1½ litres boiling water
1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube
2 x 15ml spoons vegetable oil
1 x 5ml spoon chilli powder
130g pancetta cubes
2 x 5ml spoons paprika
2 x 5ml spoons plain flour


Sharp knife
Chopping board
Can opener
Measuring jug
Measuring spoons
Wooden spoon


  1. Wash the peppers, slice in half and remove the seeds and white pith. Chop into 1cm pieces.
  2. Peel and dice the onion into 1cm pieces.
  3. Open the cans of beans and empty the contents into a colander. Rinse the beans under the tap and set to one side.
  4. Measure 1½ litres boiling water into the measuring jug, crumble in the stock cube and stir to dissolve.
  5. Turn the hob onto a medium heat and heat the oil in the saucepan. Add the onion, pepper, chilli powder and pancetta and fry until soft and the pancetta begins to crisp.
  6. Add the paprika and flour and mix well.
  7. Stir in the beans.
  8. Pour on the stock, stir well and turn down the heat.
  9. Simmer over a low to medium heat for around 20–30 minutes until the liquid reduces and the soup thickens.

Skills used include:
Washing, peeling, chopping, mixing/combining, frying and boiling/simmering.

Top Tips

  • Pancetta is cured pork (similar to smoked bacon) and is easy to buy, ready cubed, in 130g packs in most supermarkets.
  • Try adding different types of beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans and butterbeans.

Something to try next time

  • Add extra paprika and chilli powder to make it spicier.
  • Leave out the pancetta for a vegetarian option.

Prepare now, eat later

  • Chill any leftover soup and reheat within 24 hours until piping hot.
  • Freeze the freshly cooked soup for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating until bubbling hot.