Croatian Bean and Sausage Soup (Grah)

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2019)

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.

Visit our food finds/recipes section to view our full collection of recipes inspired by our travels around the world. If you find you like cooking with paprika, you might like our sausage and potato soup or chicken paprikash recipes inspired by our time in Hungary. Delicious!

Croatian Bean and Sausage Soup (Grah)

Croatian Bean and Sausage Soup (Grah)

Classic Croatian Soup with beans, sausage and pancetta, seasoned with paprika and Vegeta, a Croatian spice blend.


  • 2 Smoked Sausage Links
  • 3.5 Ounces diced Pancetta
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion - diced
  • 2 Carrots - peeled and diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic - minced
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Cannelloni Beans
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Pinto Beans
  • 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika, optional
  • 1 Teasoon Vegeta, Croatian Spice *
  • 2 cups low salt Stock or Water
  • Parsley as a garnish


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. After the flavor is adjusted, allow the pot to simmer another 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve with your favorite hot sauce.


*Vegeta is a spice blend made with dehydrated carrots, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and sugar. It can be substituted with dehydrated vegetable soup mix and a dash of garlic, turmeric and sugar for each teaspoon used.

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Croatian Bean and Sausage Soup


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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