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Everybody has a recipe for bean soup and everybody claims his or hers is the best in the west. Well, sorry chaps, but we are too busy to pick and soak beans so here we reveal our recipe for bean soup. And we must tell you we’ve served it often to our very dearest friends, they who swear by their own - passed-on-through-the-ages - bean soup recipes. To date, nobody has had the slightest doubt that we did not slave for hours over this labour of love. Now that’s our idea of great ‘crooking’!

Quick & Easy Bean Soup


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large sticks of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 250 g rindless streaky bacon, cut into small dice (optional)
  • 10 ml garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 410 g cans of speckled sugar beans in brine
  • 2 x 410 g cans of baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 500 ml prepared chicken stock
  • garlic & herb seasoning salt
  • freshly-milled black pepper
  • Worcester sauce
  • white vinegar or lemon juice

Chef's hint:

If you omit the bacon and use vegetable stock, then you should make any vegetarian’s heart very happy! Or, you can then serve it to your carnivore family as a satisfying Meatless Monday meal.


Finely chop the onions, celery, carrots and red pepper. In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the vegetables and sauté until soft and golden. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned then stir through the garlic.

Add the beans with its brine, the bean soup and the baked beans. Stir well then add the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the veggies are soft enough to your liking.

Season to taste with the seasoning salt, pepper, Worcester sauce and a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. Remove from the heat and serve with crusty whole wheat bread or rolls.

Yields 6 – 8 servings.