Autumn, Winter, Light Meals, Soup

Borlotti bean & freekeh soup

This is one of those soups where you can throw almost any veg at it, and it will still taste amazing. It‘s so simple, and takes no time at all to knock together.

If you're using dried beans, they'll need to be soaked in water overnight and boiled for about 1½ hours – but do follow the packet instructions, as they can vary.

When boiling your beans, I recommend adding a halved onion, a few sprig of herbs, a roughly chopped celery stick, a bashed garlic clove and a bay leaf to the water. You can then reserve some of the liquid as stock for the soup, and the beans will be full of flavour.

Freekeh is simply a roasted green wheat with a unique nutritional profile that's superior to other grains. It's harvested when it‘s young, and retains more nutrients than wheat that's harvested when it's mature, meaning it packs in higher amounts of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.



1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut

2 leeks, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 fresh bay leaf (optional)

3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated

Few stalks fresh sage

Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped

500g vine cherry tomatoes

750ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

1½ cups dried borlotti beans, pre-cooked as above, or 2 x 400g tins, drained and rinsed

250g packet pre-cooked freekeh

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped greens, such as kale, cavolo nero, cabbage, spinach or chard.

To serve

2-4 slices sourdough bread

Chopped herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley or basil

Vegan parmesan

Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Add the oil to a large casserole pot or saucepan over a medium-low heat, and sauté the leeks and celery with the bay leaf, if using, until the vegetables are soft and very lightly golden.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add in the sage and the chopped parsley stalks, stir to combine, and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add in the cherry tomatoes, a good pinch of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper, and turn up the heat to medium.
  4. When the tomatoes start to soften, add in the vegetable stock, tomato ketchup, cooked or tinned borlotti beans, freekeh and extra-virgin olive oil. Stir to combine, and allow to simmer gently for about 15 mins.
  5. Check for seasoning, and adjust if needed. At this stage, fish out the sage and discard.
  6. A couple of minutes before you're ready to serve, stir in your chopped greens. Toast your sourdough bread and cut it into chunks.
  7. Divide the soup between 4-6 bowls. Top with the toasted sourdough chunks, some chopped herbs, vegan parmesan, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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