Black Sea Bean and Kale Soup

    Recipe Details:

    Proparation Time:

    20 mins

    Cooking Time:

    30 mins





    Ingredient Tags:

    borlotti beans, kale, soup, vegan, vegetarian

    This soup was inspired by my lovely friend, Hurriyet Guray, who is not only an amazing fellow swimmer and all round good person, but also Turkish and incredibly hospitable, letting me stay in her lovely flat in Antalya province. It was on a trip there together when she first told me about this soup that her niece had made which had wowed President Obama. I doubt I will have done her niece, Yasemin Ataman’s soup justice but it is easily now one of my favourite soups.

    The recipe is really just my memory of what I did (two evenings ago) using what I had in the house.


    1 tin borlotti beans

    250g kale

    1 onion

    1 large clove of garlic

    1 piece of marinated red pepper (like you get in the Turkish shops here, so sort of pickled as well but not too vinegary)

    2 tbsp red pepper paste (again from the Turkish shop – using spicy or not spicy)

    1 vegetable stock cube (I used chicken stock because I had some in the fridge but obvs don’t use this if you are veg or vegan)

    2 tbsp rice (I had long grain but any will do, as would bulgur unless cooking for gf person)

    olive oil

    salt & pepper

    Cooking Method:

    Start by cutting any tough stalks out of the kale leaves and then shredding them by bunching them together and then slicing them.

    In a big casserole or pan, heat the oil and gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic and the kale and let it all cook gently until the kale is a beautiful bright green and softer.  Add the red pepper and using the back of a wooden spoon, crush it gently and it should just fall apart.  Add the red pepper paste and fry a little longer before adding the beans with their juice.  You just want to fry gently not burn so keep an eye on it. Use the same empty tin to dissolve the stock cube in hot water and then add that with the rice.

    Let the whole thing simmer very gently, adding water if you feel the need (it will thicken as it cooks).

    Season and serve with fresh bread.

    This soup gets better over a few days so great to make and keep.  When I re-heat it, I add a splash of really good olive oil and salt and it sort of brings it back to new life with all the settled in tastes.