Bean Soup with ‘Pinched’ Pasta (Bableves)
This satisfying bean soup is finished with homemade pasta bits called csipetke, which are pinched by hand. Top the soup with a spoonful of sour cream for extra richness.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> lb. smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1⁄2" pieces
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. dried tarragon
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. caraway seeds
- 6 cherry peppers, stemmed
- 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut crosswise into 3" pieces
- 1 small celery root (about 2⁄3 lb.), peeled and cut into 1⁄4" pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. lard
- 1 Tbsp. hot paprika, preferably Hungarian
- 1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put beans, sausage, and 14 cups water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are half cooked, about 25 minutes. Add tarragon, caraway, peppers, carrots, celery root, onions, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 40–45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put 1 1⁄3 cups flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and mix with your hands into a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a ball. Using your hands, pinch off a very small piece of the dough, roll it into a 1⁄4" ball, then pinch it between your fingertips to a 1⁄16" thickness. Transfer pasta to a lightly floured sheet pan and repeat with remaining dough.
- Heat lard in a small skillet over medium heat. Add remaining flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add flour mixture to soup while whisking vigorously. Add pasta, paprika, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened and pasta is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
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