Pulsating pulse soup


  • Makes 6–8 portions. Suitable for freezing.
  • Which tinned pulses you use is up to you, but I show my favourite combination.
  • There is a (very) thick and a (very) thin version of this soup. This recipe describes both.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • several cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 pints / 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1 generous teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 300g dried lentils, rinsed (I use orange)


  1. In a large saucepan, soften (don’t brown) onion, carrot, garlic, and celery in some olive oil.
  2. Add stock and bring to a simmer.
  3. Optional: For the thick version of the soup, add dried lentils and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, then blitz until smooth. If it’s too think for your liking, dilute it with a little boiling water.
  4. Add tinned pulses, Cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper and simmer covered for 20–30 minutes. (If making the thick version, stir frequently.)
  5. Eat with plenty of crusty bread and more black pepper.

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