We came across this thick smokey bean soup when traveling through Croatia. Grah translates literally to “bean” which is the principle ingredient. The soup (or stew) gets its rich flavor from smoked meat and paprika. and has is a thick consistency (like a chili). It can be made in about 45 minutes if you save a little time (as I did) by using pre-cooked beans.
Slice the sausage into rounds. Add to a frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the pancetta. Continue to cook until both are browned. Set aside and remove most of the oil from the pan.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the onions and carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic.Continue to cook until the onions are translucent.
Place all of the ingredients in a stock pot and bring it to a boil. Make sure that the beans are fully covered by the water. If not, add more.
Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
At this point taste the soup to adjust the flavor. Since sausage is flavored differently, salt may or may not be needed. For a smokier flavor, add 1 teaspoon of hot paprika. For a richer flavor and more salt, consider adding some bouillon or stock, or Vegeta.
After the flavor is adjusted, allow the pot to simmer another 10 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
*Note – Vegeta is a spice blend popular in Croatia, with dehydrated vegetables, salt and sugar.
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Planning a visit to visit to Croatia? Here are a few articles to help you plan a visit (including enjoying some amazing Croatian Cuisine to sample during your visit).
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