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How to make Macedonian Graff Bean Soup

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This is a meatless version of Macedonian Graff Bean Soup and it was a tradition to have a meatless Friday.

Yield: 4 servings

Macedonian Graf Bean Soup

An image of a white bowl of Macedonian No Meat Graf Bean Soup

This Meatless Macedonian soup is flavored with mint and paprika. This will fast become a winter favorite.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 cups beans (more if you prefer)
  • 2 brown Onions
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 red peppers (or dried peppers if you have them)
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper or hot chillies if you like it hot
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sort beans for any debris e.g., stones or sticks.
  2. Wash well and put in pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring to the boil and remove from the stove and drain the first water.
  4. Cover with water again and return to the stove. Water should be almost three-quarters of the pot.
  5. Add one of the brown onions, celery, carrot, red peppers/Dried peppers, and a dash of olive oil to the pot. I normally just put in whole. They will soften up during the cooking.
  6. Simmer the soup until the beans are soft. I have found different beans vary in cooking time. About 1 ½ hour. Test beans to be softened.
  7. Once this stage has been reached, remove it to the side.
  8. Take a frying pan and put olive oil in and the other chopped onion.
  9. Sauté the onion until translucent (clear).
  10. Now scoop the cooked onion from the soup pot and mash it into the frying pan with the other onion.
  11. Add the carrot, and celery and these should be soft enough to mash as well.
  12. Add the red peppers to the pot and remove the skins once mashed.
  13. Add paprika to color opaque. Add cayenne and herbs and cook to mix.
  14. Add salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar. Do a taste test.
  15. Cook a further 10 minutes.

This is a meatless version. My mother always did graf on Fridays as it was traditional to have a meatless Friday.

PS: My beans look extremely red because I mistakenly added tomato puree and a lot of it, which made the soup not only red but a strong tomatoey taste which I did not like. But it is up to you! Just experiment to your taste.

Happy cooking!!

Note do not add salt until beans are soft because salt hardens the dried beans and they don't cook properly!!


Prepared, tried, and tested Ctace Palasin from SA Tasty Recipes - Saffas Daily Recipes

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 279Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 748mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 11gSugar 24gProtein 11g

EsmeSalon provides approximate nutrition information for your convenience and as a courtesy only. Please note that all nutrition data is congregated by online calculators. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe, and we strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but can not guarantee or provide any assurances regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own estimates based on the ingredients used, and by using your own and preferred nutrition calculator. The author(s) of EsmeSalon are not dietitians or nutritionists. Any recommendations shall not be construed as medical or nutritional advice. You are fully responsible for any actions you take and any consequences that occur because of anything you read on this website. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Please consult your health care provider regarding any health-related decisions.

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Macedonian Graf (White great northern bean soup)

Bean Soups

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