Boerekos: Bean soup


With heritage day still fresh in mind we will continue to discuss South African food using the heritage of the different cultures.

Boerekos was the traditional food of the European farmers of way back. This means the food that they ate daily on the farm and was grown on the farm. Everybody worked hard and had a healthy appetite. They believed rather cook too much than too little so there were always food for unexpected guests.

We will start with soup. Not thin soup but a pot of thick healthy soup ate with home baked bread and thick butter. There were coal or wood stoves and the soup simmered slowly. Most likely the whole day.

Bean soup

The French Hugenotes brought Bean soup to the Cape. It had to be cooked with pork boontjiesopmeat preferably bacon. We still cook it the same way today but the modern sugar beans only soaked for an hour and the first cook only 20 min.

Way back the beans were soaked overnight and drained. It was then covered with fresh water, cooked and drained. This is important to prevent embarrassment due to gas forming.  Fresh water was added and the slowly cooked. The following is added for taste. Onions,  potatoes, carrots, pepper, pimento  and cloves.

Salt are always added last otherwise the beans does not cook soft if added earlier.  The beans must always cook slowly for the skins not to come off or the beans to burst.

For more information about SA food please click here

If you would like to read about Boerekos specifically click here.


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