White Beans with Dried Turkish Sausage: Sucuklu Kuru Fasulye

Spicy sausage and ripe tomatoes infuse themselves into hearty white beans in this Turkish dish that shows exactly how a little bit of meat can be stretched to flavor an entire dish. 

In my opinion, kuru fasulye is one of the greatest parts of Turkish cuisine. If I had to name my favorite Turkish dish, I would say this every single time. Whether you are at a fancy restaurant or an inexpensive point-and-shoot style lunch spot (...and sometimes even at gas stations...) you can find a delicious bowl of kuru fasulye. In fact, I even saw two young men eating this at the beach last week!

Kuru fasulye is truly a staple food in Turkish cooking. The dry beans are soaked and then simmered in a tomato/pepper paste broth with vegetables for a healthy and filling dish. In this version, sucuk is added to make it spicier and more flavorful, but it can be made without sucuk too!

This stew is best eaten hot with plenty of bread to soak up the extra broth, or with a side of pilaf or bulgur. A large pot of this stew can be made and served throughout the week by just reheating individual portions. I personally like to eat sucuklu kuru fasulye with fresh sourdough rye bread


Recipe:

2 cups dry white beans (500 grams) (note: cooked yields about 5-6 cups beans, or ~3 cans (15 oz each))
2 tablespoons olive oil (28 grams)
1-2 yellow onions, diced
5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 heaping spoonful of red pepper paste (about 3 U.S. tablespoons)
5 oz sliced sucuk (140 grams)-this about half of a typical package, freeze the other half for later!
2 cups water (475 ml), preferably from cooking beans (sub: veg broth or chicken broth if you want)
Salt to taste (remember- sucuk is already adding some salty flavor as well)
Red (Aleppo) pepper flakes to taste

  1. Soak the dried beans in enough water to cover them with about 2 inches of water. They should soak for about 5 hours at least.
  2. Partially cook the dried beans in fresh water for 15-20 minutes, and then drain and SAVE the cooking water to use later in the recipe instead of plain water. (If using canned beans, skip first 2 steps!)
  3. In a large pot, saute the onions in the olive oil. Next, add the sausage and saute for a minute.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and red pepper paste and then stir well. Allow this mixture to cook for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Now add beans and water (from cooking beans if there is any left) or broth and mix gently. Add salt and red pepper flakes.
  6. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes (less if using canned beans), or until beans are fully cooked through.
  7. Serve with pilaf or bread. 

Tips and Additional Information:

  • If you want to make this stew healthier, but still enjoy the sucuk taste, try adding just a small bit of finely chopped up sucuk and cook in the oil as directed. Just a small amount will be enough to flavor the whole dish!

  • For plain (vegetarian) kuru fasulye, omit the sucuk and use vegetable broth!

  • To make an even heartier, vegetarian version, try adding chopped vegetables to the dish. Detailed recipe for this will be posted soon!