Cypriot Lemon Bean Soup

Beans are great in a soup. You can thicken most soups, using a tin of beans and pureeing it, but this soup keeps the beans whole. This is based on a traditional Cypriot soup, often eaten for lunch with extra virgin olive oil and chunks of fresh bread.

I used to eat this in small rustic restaurants with plastic tablecloths, just off the main roads in Cyprus, as it was a firm favourite of the lorry drivers passing through.  I have added some kale into this one, but this is optional.

If you are on a weight loss programme, the soup should be enough as it contains plenty of fibre and protein rich beans to keep you full.

Ingredients, serves 4

2 x 400g tins of white beans (cannellini or butter beans)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, thinly sliced

4 carrots, diced

handful of kale, chopped

2-3 ripe vine tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice 1 lemon or 50ml Sicilian lemon juice*

salt and pepper

1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

approximately 600ml vegetable or chicken stock


  1. In frying pan, heat olive oil gently. Sauté onions lightly for one to two minutes then add the sliced celery. Cook for another two minutes.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, carrots, vegetable or chicken stock and add the lemon juice.
  3. Season well with sea salt and pepper and add all the tinned beans. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the carrots are tender.
  4. When cooked, stir in the chopped parsley and the kale and remove from the heat.

*Once you have experienced the aroma and taste of Sicilian lemon juice there is no going back. It is definitely superior in terms of flavour and in some cases better than squeezing your own.


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