Recipe by Kirsten Gilmour from The Mountain Cafe Cookbook

Another beast of a recipe from big Kev, Kirsten’s favourite vegan hippy mountain-biking chef! Perfect as the nights draw in…

A delicious bowl of vegan bean soup
  • I use a mixture of adzuki, pinto and cannellini beans in this soup but it’s up to you what you use. Tinned beans are also fine – just drain and rinse them, then add them into the soup once it’s three-quarters cooked so they don’t turn to mush. 
  • Always check packets of dried beans to see if they need to be soaked overnight, rinsed or hardboiled before using. Here are general rules for the beans I use: for cannellini, kidney or black-eye beans, soak overnight, rinse and hard boil for ten minutes; for adzuki or pinto beans, just rinse.
  • Much to Kev’s horror, this soup is awesome with crispy pancetta and Parmesan shavings on top. 

Vegan, Wheat free, Gluten Free

Serves 4

  • 140g mixed dried beans, soaked and preboiled as needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 handful basil, chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (or 2 stock cubes dissolved in 1 litre hot water)
  • ½ x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Wash your prepared beans well with fresh water and leave to drain in a sieve while you prepare your veggies. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, pepper, courgette, garlic, chilli, basil and parsley and sauté until everything is glossy and starting to soften but not taking on any colour. Stir in the paprika and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes. Mix in the drained beans, then pour over your stock and the tinned tomatoes. Bring up to a light boil for 30 to 40 minutes until the beans are absolutely tender. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and some more chopped fresh herbs if you want. I sometimes stir in a spoon of tomato purée at the end to add depth and richness to the soup.