24 October 2014

* Each month I share my virtual meal with Ilva and Simi.
This month we are inviting you to eat with us some soup.
Come in.  Please, come in!
Sit down and get comfortable.
Here is some bread.  Here is some soup.  It is not much, but is from my heart.  And it is very wholesome and good for you.  Hope you like it.
This is my grandma Nitsa’s bean soup, just as she used to cook it.  Poor thing, I remember her with her arthritic knotted fingers chasing the beans around the tray, always making sure she checked for any tiny pebbles or dirt that could've possibly mingled with the rest of the beans.  And that was a lengthy cleaning and checking, as we were big family she was cooking for.  It was her staple food for many reasons.  She was deeply religious and following holy fasting more often than I can remember.  Her essential meal was dry bread with few marinated dried olives and a plate of plain bean soup.  So plain and so simple, that we colloquially would call any guileless thing “easy as a bean soup”.

She believed that we have to love and respect the little thing we get in life and her food was an echo of the life the way she saw it – humble and genuine.
We grew up hearing and reading the classic books about our national heroes at the sundown of the 19th century, living in exile, fighting the oppression of the Ottoman Empire.  They were young, brave, passionate, desperate.  With every gathering for concocting a national upheaval, amongst the revolvers, firearms, barrels of dynamite, sables and many passionate letters written to Garibaldi inviting him to fight for their righteous cause, there were few copper pots, with simmering bean soup inside.  “Freedom or Death” was their oath and as they crossed their rebellious hearts with one hand, they would sip a warm poor’s man bean soup with the other...   It became unofficial and inseparable symbol of the hard life rebels and expatriates had.

Now you are sitting here with me – an expat with no much to rebel about and with no government to tumble, but very much ready to move the earth and change things with words and vision.
It tastes nice, isn’t it!
Lets sip some hearty bean soup... lets enjoy its simple and humble taste... (can I get you some more?)
…and lets hope it keeps me close to the pulse of my beginning.

½ kilo of dried white beans
2 medium brown onions
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Clean and soak the beans overnight.  The next morning strain the water and change with fresh one.  Bring it to the boil and discard the boiled water.  Rinse well and cover the beans with fresh water.  Cut the onions finely and add three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of salt.  Cover with a lid and bring to gentle simmer.  Let it cook for more than two hours or until the onion has melted down and completely dissolved.  The salt in will keep the beans intact and will prevent from getting mushy.  Just before serving add more salt to taste.
Thank you for visiting!

*Soundtrack from the acclaimed Bulgarian movie "Exiles"

© 2014 - sophia terra~ziva all rights reserved


  1. That onion looks like a crushed rose! I so love simple soups like this, they are so comforting and connecting if one can say so. Lovely rustic photos, perfect with your text!

    1. Thank you Ilva!
      My girls love this soup and call it "the white beans soup", yet my husband wouldn't eat it unless it is with a smoked pork shank. I guess you know what I mean to cook few different soups at the same time for every body in the family :)

  2. Loved this post Sophia! My Croatian grandmother was cooking similar beans soup, only she would at the end add some little elbows pasta to make it a bit richer.

    1. Draga Lili tvoja baba mora da je bila dobra kuvarica! :)

  3. Love the humility both in the words and in the pictures.The last one really took my heart away.

    1. Thank you Praveen. So kind of you.
      The only thing that was left out of the shot were few of the hens patrolling the photo set :)

  4. Replies
    1. Густо, майна, фасуля!!! Хем народно, хем задушевно... :)))


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