Sometimes during winter, 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.

When it comes to comforting and soul-satisfying dishes, Irish cuisine has a rich tradition of hearty meals that warm you from the inside out. One such classic is the Irish Beef, Bacon, and Bean Soup, a delicious blend of robust flavors and wholesome ingredients. This recipe combines tender beef, savory bacon, and nutritious beans to create a bowl of warmth that will transport you straight to the heart of Ireland. 

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 of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 400g / 14.1oz tin tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1-liter water
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Garnish
  • 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 bread and melted cheese.

Chef'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. Updated in Jan 2024.