The cuisine of northern Slovakia is influenced by the harsh climatic conditions of the area, where it is usually intensively cold at least three months per year. This is one of the reasons why smoked meat, potatoes, sauerkraut, dairy products and pulses are typical for this cuisine. In Slovakia, the pulses belong to the oldest cultivated crops. The most famous dish, still popular in the Slovak kitchen, is the bean soup, which used to be part of the Christmas Eve dinner for many families.
Dip beans into the water a day in advance. Let the washed smoked knee cook in a larger pot with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Cook until tender. After cooking, take the knee out of the pot and let it cool, take off the meat from the bone and cut it into small pieces. Strain the broth. Meanwhile, pour out the water from the beans, wash them and let them cook in the broth from the knee. Add the carrots cut into slices and the diced potatoes and cook until tender. Finally, prepare a roux with the lard from the finely chopped onion, flour, paprika and pour it into the hot soup. Season it with salt, pepper, marjoram and crushed garlic. Finally, put some pieces of lean meat from the smoked knee into the soup.