Bean Soup in Clay Pot

Stanislava Dimitrova
How it's made: 

Cooking in clay pot has a long history and is commonly used in several European, Asian and North African cuisines. The food inside the clay pot is surrounded by steam. That's why it loses little of its moisture, creating a tender, flavorful dish. Beens in clay pot is one of the traditional meals in Bulgarian cuisine and is truly delicious. Here is how to prepare bean soup in clay pot over open fire.

Soak the beens in cold water overnight. They will double their volume. Wash them with cold water and put them in the clay pot. Soaking the beans and washing them with cold water reduces the enzyme inhibitors and makes them easier to digest. Chop the onion, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the olive oil and a few stems of thyme. Pour in hot water up to 1 inch below the clay pot top and place the pot over the fire. Make sure the walls of the clay pot are warm enough before you put it on the fire. Placing cold clay pot over strong fire may damage the pot.

Bring the beans to boiling and let them simmer for at least 2 hours. The cooking time depends of the beans variety and vintage. The older the beans the more cooking time they will require. That's why, in two hours one should taste the beans and determine how much more cooking time is necessary.

Once the beans are well cooked, add salt. Saute the paprika and savory in butter and add to the pot. Add a handful of spearmint leaves. Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with plenty of fresh parsley.

Cooking the beans over open fire gives the meal a nice smoky flavor.

Shopping list: 
2 cups beans
1 onion
2-3 carrots
2 peppers
2 tomatoes
1 chili pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon savory
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter (50 gr. )
fresh parsley
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