Dried beans is a major ingredient in Romanian cooking, especially during the winter season, whether preparing soups, stews, or entrees.
Dired beans is a majort ingredient in Romanian cooking, especially during the cold season. You can make a traditional soup, sometimes served in a hollowed out oversized bread bun. You can also make a cream of beans. Irrespective of your choice, most ingredients overlap in the recipes. Take a quarter of a kilo of dried beans, about half a pound, 3 carrots, one onion, bay leaves and thyme, as well as tomato paste or juice. You can also add meat, preferably smoked pork, such as ribs or ham.
Soak the beans overnight. The following day set them to boil, and when they reach a rolling boil change the water and continue cooking them. Add the sliced carrots, the finely chopped onion, the bay leaves, and, optionally, the finely cubed smoked meat of your choice, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add tomato juice or paste, a tablespoon or two, and a bit of thyme, then simmer for another quarter of an hour. Add a souring agent, such as fermented bran or vinegar, then add salt to taste. You can serve it in a hollowed out bread bun. You can turn the soup into cream of beans by using a hand held blender. In that case, it is recommended you also add parsnip.
Bean stew is another winter favorite. Its preparation is similar to that of soup, but using less water. Take half a kilo of dried beans, two or three onions, a carrot, bay leaves, oil, tomato paste, salt and pepper, and fresh parsley. After boiling the beans, sweat the onion in a bit of vegetable oil. Add it to the beans, along with tomato paste and salt to taste, with the chopped parsley. The bean stew goes traditionally with fried sausages and mixed pickles. Just as you would with the soup, you can add smoked meats. It is a hearty winter preparation. Enjoy!