Traditional Dutch Brown Bean Soup

Dutch Brown Bean Soup

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This meal of a soup will wrap you up like a warm blanket on a cold day. Legume-based soups are a Dutch dietary staple, and this bruine bonen soep is nutritious, filling and a cinch to make—the ideal mid-week meal for the whole family. It's made with brown beans, a typical Dutch variety of the Phaseolus vulgaris family, but you can use pinto beans if you can't find brown beans.


  • 5 ounces (145 grams) smoked bacon, cubed

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 5 shallots, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, finely diced

  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 3 (16-ounce) cans (1 1/3 kilograms) canned brown beans, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed 

  • 12 ounces (375 milliliters) tomato puree 

  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) beef stock

  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

  • Sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis), or Worcester sauce, to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large soup pot, fry the bacon in the butter. Add the shallots, carrot, leek and the ground paprika. Mix well. Now add the beans, tomato puree, stock and bay leaves.

  2. Bring the soup to the boil, cover and then turn down the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper and ketjap manis (or Worcester sauce). Then, blitz the soup half smooth, using a stick blender or food processor. The soup should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add the celery leaves right before serving.


  • Dutch brown beans are also known as Swedish brown beans. 

  • Add extra stock if you like a thinner soup, but keep in mind that traditional bruine bonen soep is supposed to be a thick, hearty soup.

    Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

    Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.