Bean & Buckwheat Soup
This wholesome, goodness-packed, soup is my version of the traditional Bean & Barley soup, adapted slightly as I’m intolerant to barley, and every mouthful feels like nourishment to your soul, as well as your body. This is one of those recipes that will fill your kitchen with the comforting scent of tradition, just perfect for cold, dark days.
- 800 g marrow bones / approx. 5-6 bones (you can use frozen bones)
- 300 g buckwheat (you can use pearl barley if you’re not gluten-free)
- 500 g yellow lentils/split peas (known as chana dal)
- 1 onion, peeled &finely chopped
- 5 carrots (approx. 700g), peeled & finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped (peel the fibrous part ofthe stalk away using a vegetable peeler and discard)
- 9 pints of cold water
- 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp. Herbamare or 2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
- 4 x 400 g tins canned butterbeans, drained & rinsed
- sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- white pepper
- crusty bread
- Place the buckwheat and yellow lentils in separate bowls, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 40 minutes.
- Arrange the marrow bones over the bottom of a large (approx..7 litres capacity) stock pot, cover with 9 pints of cold water, then bring to the boil and cook for approximately 30-40 minutes, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface in the process – you can lower the heat to a gentle boil whilst skimming, but for the most part you do need to keep the water boiling.
- Once the boiling time is up and you’ve skimmed away as much of the scum from the surface as possible, season with sea salt and a touch of white pepper, then add the sugar and Herbamare (or stock cubes) and check for seasonings.
- Rinse the soaked buckwheat through a fine mesh sieve under cold, running water until the water runs clear, drain well then place into a clean bowl. Repeat the process for the yellow lentils, then add these, and the buckwheat to the pot, alongside the celery, onions, and carrots.
- Bring the pot back to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 2 ½ hours, before adding the butter beans, and continuing to cook for an additional 60 minutes, stirring regularly to preventany of the ingredients catching on the bottom of the pan.
- Once the cooking time is complete, turn the heat off under the pan and leave the soup to stand for 15 minutes, before removing the bones and leaving it to stand for an additional 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve with some fresh, crusty bread on the side for dunking.
- When making this recipe, I’d LOVE to see how you get on so either send me a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a picture to Instagram using the #myrelationshipwithfood and tag @myrelationshipwithfood
LISA’S TIP – I’ve loved this soup since I was a little girl, it brings back such happy memories, and there’s nothing more comforting than knowing you have a pot of this simmering away on the stove when the days are grey and cold. Don’t be tempted to throw away the marrow bones once you remove them from the pan – there’s so much flavour and goodness in them that, once you try them, you’ll be hooked! The flavours of the soup improve with keeping, so it’s definitely one that benefits from being made ahead - it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days (it will thicken slightly once chilled) or frozen for up to 6 months. If you want to make the soup more substantial, then you can add 1lb of stewing meat to the pot at the same time as the marrow bones, the long, slow cooking will result in the most deliciously tender meat. For an additional level of flavour, add some fresh herbs like dill or parsley when you serve. When skimming away the scum, try to remove as little of the liquid as possible – you don’t want to waste a delicious drop of this soup more than you need to!