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small ribs on top of a bowl or red soup with white beans

Pork Rib Soup

Pork rib soup with white beans, spare ribs, and vegetables, hearty and filling, perfect for cold winter days.
Course Soup
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 437kcal
Author Adina


  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 ¼ cups dried white beans
  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs pork ribs Note 1
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz celeriac Note 2
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • some organic vegetable stock powder Note 3
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • pickled tarragon and 1-2 tablespoons of its pickling vinegar or fresh tarragon + 2-3 tablespoons vinegar to taste
  • OR if not using tarragon
  • fresh lovage/celery leaves and fresh parsley + 2-3 tablespoons vinegar to taste
  • fine sea salt and pepper


  • Rinse the dry white beans, place them in a large bowl, and cover them with water. Leave to soak overnight.
  • Drain the beans and place them into a pot together with the smoked ribs, which you have cut into smaller pieces. Cover with water, about 2 ½ liter/ 10 ½ cups and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about one hour or until the beans are almost done. Prolong the cooking time if the beans are not almost soft, it really depends on the size and age of the beans.
  • In the meantime, chop all the vegetables. Add them to the pot and continue cooking for another half an hour or until the beans and the veggies are soft. Add the vegetable stock powder or cubes and stir well.
  • Heat the oil in a small pot. Add the flour and stir well for one minute. Add the tomato paste and stir well.
  • Take a soup ladle full of hot soup from the pot, trying to avoid the beans and vegetables, and slowly pour it over the flour mixture while whisking all the time. When the liquid is incorporated and the mixture has no clumps, add another one or two soup ladles, while whisking all the time.
  • When the mixture is pourable, slowly pour it into the soup while whisking all the time to avoid clumps. Simmer the soup for another 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime chop the herbs you are intending to use.
  • If using fresh lovage/celery leaves and parsley, chop and add them to the soup when you are done cooking. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons vinegar to sour the soup to taste and add salt and pepper.
  • If you are using pickled tarragon, chop it finely and add it to the soup together with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the pickling vinegar, to taste. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with bread and raw red onions.



  1. Preferably smoked. Either spare ribs or baby back ribs, they are both perfect. Meatier, larger ribs are fine as well.
  2. 2-3 stalks of celery could be used instead, however, celeriac is traditionally used for this kind of soup. You can also add one small parsley root (cut into small cubes), if available.
  3. My grandmother always used Vegeta, I use an organic brand of vegetable stock powder. Any brand you like should be fine.


Serving: 1/6 of the dish | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 102mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g