Fasolka Po Bretonsku (Polish Breton Beans) is something Ed discovered before I moved to Poland. He’d had it in a restaurant a shopping mall, a galleria, probably either Poznan Plaza or M1. I remember him ordering it, like an experienced diner, one time after I’d joined him. To describe Fasolka Po Brestonsku, I’ll say that it’s like a gourmet version of Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup, something I loved from my childhood. There are similar flavor notes, but this is so much more. Of course, it’s homemade!
Poles will be quick to say that this isn’t a Polish recipe, although it’s very popular in Poland. It’s from the Brittany region in France. The New York Times ran a French version of this recipe. There is no sausage; there is no bacon. I think I can see how Poland took a tasty dish and made it even better! It’s such an improvement that I’m inclined to call it a Polish recipe. No matter which cuisine gets credit, I know you’ll enjoy Fasolka Po Bretonsku.
A hearty bean soup with tomatoes, sausage and bacon
- 1 pound beans, large white beans or baby lima beans
- 8 ounces bacon, diced
- 8 ounces kielbasa, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Wondra flour (optional)
- Cook beans according to package directions, or cheat like I did and use a box of frozen Lima beans or canned beans
- Saute bacon over medium high heat in a Dutch oven, until fat is rendered
- Add kielbasa and onion, saute until onion is translucent
- Add garlic, cook for 2 more minutes
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and marjoram
- Simmer 30 – 60 minutes to blend flavors
- (Optional) Sprinkle the Wondra flour over the soup and stir to blend. This will thicken the broth a little bit and seems tone down the tartness of the tomatoes a bit. Wondra is pre-cooked flour, so it blends easily without clumping and doesn’t have a raw flour taste.