boontjiesop (south african bean soup)

Our lovely neighbour, who is from South Africa, dropped by with some of this bean soup the other week and our kiddo, who is nowadays as likely to throw his food on the ground as he is to actually eat it, devoured it.  And I don’t even like beans, but I liked this soup.  So of course I had to get the recipe from her.  Turns out it’s an old family recipe that she doesn’t even have written down so you know this recipe is legit.  It’s a really hearty soup (with bacon in it!) which she recommends eating with some fresh bread.  Can’t believe I never had this back when I lived in Cape Town, what a shame.  Add that to the list of reasons to go back for a visit!  In the meantime, many thanks to our neighbour for sharing this with us.  Just a note, you can use either fresh blanched and skinned tomatoes and cooked dried beans or use tinned; I took the easy route.

2 tins of kidney beans (I used 1 red and 1 white), drained and rinsed  /  500 g beef steak  /  1 package of bacon  /  1 x 28 oz tin diced tomatoes  /  5 medium potatoes (red or white)  /  1 medium yellow onion  /  1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce  /  1 and 1/2 tbsp soy sauce  /  black pepper to taste

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Peel and cut up your potato into chunks and set aside.  Dice the onion, cut up the steak into bite-size pieces and chop up the bacon.  Throw the onion, steak and bacon into a large pot (I used a 5 quart and this would be the minimum size) and cook over medium to medium-high heat until the onions have softened and the beef is browning.  Then add the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and the entire contents of the tin of tomatoes.  Next, tip in your potatoes and the beans.

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Pop the lid on and lower the heat to let the soup simmer for 5 to 6 hours.

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1 hour before serving, use a masher to give the soup a good mash.  If you find it too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water.  Serve with warm fresh bread. This makes quite a large pot of soup and apparently leftovers will have thickened up quite a bit so you can simply reheat with a bit of water added to it if needed.  Enjoy!

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