King's Bread Soup Recipe

If you are short on time, grill a fillet but if you would like to spend some time in the kitchen, try this traditional Cape recipe for King’s Bread Soup. It is rich and hearty, but makes for an elegant combination with most red wines. Pick your favourite here.



700 g beef shin or knuckle, cubed (reserve bones)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp (45ml) olive oil

2 Tbsp (30ml) butter

2 whole, smoked eisbein

1 bay leaf, crushed

1 tsp (5ml) whole cloves

1 piece cassia bark

2 tsp (10ml) whole allspice

2 onions chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 large carrot finely chopped

2 cups (500 ml) good-quality red wine

8 cups (2 litres) lamb stock

1 cup (250ml) dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in water

1 cup (250ml) dried haricot beans, soaked overnight in water

juice and zest of 2 oranges

12 x 2 cm veal or beef marrowbones

12 deep-fried crumbed meatballs or chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing (optional)


Place the beef shin and bones into a large saucepan and cover with cold water.

Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat immediately and strain off the water.

Dry the meat well with paper towel.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Heat another large saucepan over high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Brown the beef shin and eisbein, remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat.

Tie the bay leaf, cloves, cassia, and allspice in a muslin bag, and add to the saucepan with the onions, garlic, leek and carrot and sweat gently until soft. Add the beef shin, eisbein and red wine and cook over high heat to reduce the wine by half.

Add the lamb stock, beans, orange juice and zest, cover the surface with parchment (baking) paper and simmer for 2 – 3 hours until the meat and beans are tender.

Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Place the marrowbones in an oven pan and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until browned and cooked. Set aside.

Take the soup off the heat. Pick the meat from the bones and return to the soup.

Season to taste.

Use a large, flat soup plate. Place a mini pot bread or slice of homemade bread in the middle, with a marrowbone on the side. Ladle the soup over and garnish with a crumbed meatball or chopped fresh parsley.