Sometimes during winter and even spring, we're all just a little jealous of the animals who hibernate through the worst of the weather.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and we found this seriously robust Irish recipe on the Irish food board, Bord Bia’s, site.

What could be better! Melt away the winter blues with this beef, bacon and bean soup recipe.

An Irish beef, bacon and bean soup recipe

Serves 6


225g / 7.9oz dried white beans i.e. haricot beans soaked overnight
1 tbsp oil
50g / 1.7oz streaky bacon, diced
225g / 7.9oz shin or rib beef, diced
1-2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp ground cumin
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
400g / 14.1oz tin tomatoes
2 tbsp wine vinegar
1-liter water
Salt and black pepper
6 slices bread, toasted with slices of farmhouse cheese


Rinse the beans. Cover with water and boil for 10 minutes.

Drain and rinse again. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the bacon, beef, bay leaves, cumin, onion, garlic, celery and carrots.

Add the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, water and seasoning.

Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1½ hours.

Serving Suggestions

Serve topped with a slice of the bread and melted cheese.

Cook's Notes

Sometimes we use a ham hock or knuckle in place of the beef. Cook the ham hock with the beans for about two hours. Dice the meat and discard all fat and bones. Return the meat to the pot with the vegetables. Both soups are delicious and economical.

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* Originally published in 2015.

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