Recipe for Winter Bean and Tomato Soup – After a Long British Summer

Winter Bean and Tomato Soup

The absolutely dreadful British summer is nearly officially over.  However, it ended for us in July…maybe even June.  I cannot remember.  After a glorious spring, the temperatures have struggled to get over 20 degrees and I changed the summer eiderdown for the winter eiderdown this morning.  A record.

The only bright spot is that all the vegetables in the garden need picking and eating and the weather is perfect for soup.

Usually this is a light and summery soup made with basil and chervil.  However, yesterday we were inspired by the weather to make a winter version.

Winter Bean and Tomato Soup

Serves 5
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 hours
Total time 5 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Barley, Cumin, Lentil, Shallots, Tomatoes
Season Winter


  • 6 big tomatoes

  • Masses of green beans or runner beans
  • 2 shallots

  • Vegetable stock

  • Olive Oil

  • Hand full of lentils

  • Hand full of barley

  • Cumin

  • Chili flakes

  • Mustard seed

  • Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1 Sautee the shallots in the olive oil for a good 10 minutes.
2 Add chopped beans and tomatoes and stir around in the oil.
3 Add the barley and the lentils and cover with the vegetable stock.
4 Cover and bring to the boil and then lower the temperature and simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley and the lentils are done. This takes 10 minutes in a pressure cooker.
5 Blend the soup with a hand blender.

6 In a separate little pot, heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds.
7 Turn the heat up high and wait for the seeds to pop.
8 Remove from the heat and add a spoon of cumin seeds and a spoon of chili flakes.
9 Immediately pour this mixture on the soup.
10 Stir and serve to warm your heart on a cold summer evening. Serve with gutsy sourdough bread.

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