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Pinto Bean/Ham Soup

This soup simmering on your stove will fill the whole house with the most tantalizing aromas. By the time that you ladle it out, your family (or guests) will likely be standing in line! I adapted the recipe from a Hungarian cookbook. When my family's extra-hungry, I serve it with "pocket bread" I've filled with either jam or cheese for a hearty variation.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + soaking Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    4 quarts


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 6 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3-1/2 to 4 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, optional
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar


  • Wash and sort beans. Soak in cold water overnight; drain. In a large 8-qt. soup kettle, combine the beans, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, meat and paprika. Add enough water to cover ingredients by 2 in. simmer, partly covered, for 2-1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, adding more water as needed. When beans are tender; remove meat to side dish.
  • To make Csipetke, mix flour, salt, egg and oil into stiff dough; let rest for 30 minutes. Divide into four parts. Flatten each part and pinch off pieces about the size of a cherry pit; roll between fingers and drop into hot soup. Cook 30 minutes. Blend in sour cream if desired. Mix in parsley and vinegar; adjust seasoning. Cut reserved ham into bite-size pieces; stir into soup.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 482 calories, 25g fat (9g saturated fat), 121mg cholesterol, 191mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 8g fiber), 35g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • grandmascooking22
    Sep 23, 2015

    No comment left

  • lightningboy
    Oct 10, 2012

    A good starter base, but rather bland for my taste. I added chili powder and beef base. gave it a real nice taste. many compliments at the church soup kitchen.

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Mar 17, 2012

    Good old fashion ham and bean soup. I also got tired rolling those small dumplings. Went with a larger size, it it did not hurt this recipe at all.

  • Loveussomehoney
    Mar 21, 2011

    So amazing. Surpassed our favorite soup recipe by a hundred. Definitely a new weekly menu tradition. Thanks for the wonderful addition to our meals.

  • jsbrown806
    Feb 15, 2011

    I followed the recipe exactly, except that I didn't have parsley. It was delicious. If I had been served this soup in a nice restaurant I would have been pleased. One thing though - it's a little confusing that the vinegar and parsley are not included in the soup ingredients. I wasn't going to make the csipetke, but decided to at the last minute, so I noticed these ingredients. They clearly belonged in the soup. I tested a little vinegar in a small amount of soup I took out of the pan because I wasn't sure I would like that, but it added a nice flavor. I'm glad I tried it. Also, I quickly lost patience with forming the csipetke by pinching with my fingers/ I rolled it out (not too thin) on the cutting board and cut it into little rectangles.It was a real hit. The next day, the little bit that remained in the refrigerator was eaten up eagerly.