Spiced runner bean soup

Runner beans are in season which means there are a lot about, whether you’re a gardener with a glut or a health-conscious shopper on a budget.  I have to admit that I LOVE the “reduced” section in the produce aisle of the supermarket.  I sometimes struggle to decide what veggies to buy so I often just go with what’s on offer as it forces me to be creative.

I was asked for an idea for runner beans and that’s exactly the kind of challenge I like!  After a bit of research I had found some simple soups and an interesting recipe for sliced beans with indian spices.  I decided to combine the two and create a soup, but I made some tweaks as I was cooking and I also decided some coconut would be good so it has ended up with more of a Sri Lankan flavour.   I was surprised by just how good it tasted and how creamy the beans were. I think you will all like it.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make a huge batch and split it before adding the liquid.  You could serve some of the “dry” vegetables as a side dish, perhaps with some simply grilled meat flavoured with garam masala and some naan or roti, then continue making the soup and freeze it for a later date.


1 brown onion, finely sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp each of coriander, cumin and turmeric

chilli flakes to taste (I used 1 tsp)

225g runner beans

A little creamed coconut to taste (I used about 10g but you could add coconut milk or cream instead)

1l water


Fry the onion in a little flavourless oil until softened.  Add the garlic and yellow pepper and cook for a few minutes more before adding the beans and spices.

Option 1 – To serve as a side dish, add 100ml of water and cover.  Cook until the beans are soft (5-10 minutes), stir in the coconut, season to taste and serve.

RB soup 2


Option 2 –   Add a litre of water and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the beans are very tender.  Add the coconut and stir well.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blitzing in a blender.  I tried to use my hand blender at first but it didn’t cope with the beans well; I ended up redecorating the kitchen and as this dish contains turmeric I suggest using a blender with the lid firmly on!

Season to taste and serve.

RB soup 1

Did you make it?  Any thoughts?

Let me know if you have any other challenges!


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