Mixed bean soup (Serves 2 to 4)

May 9, 2017


This is an old favourite of the family.  We would rush to the table knowing that kidney beans and shell pasta was being served, hoping that when it reached us it be thick.  I’d always eat the beans first, then the pasta and then slurp the soup. These days, it’s perfect on a cold day, and must be served in my parent’s old bowls I took with me when I moved away. I’ve made my own version of this recipe which tastes just as good and hits the spot every time. I use a pressure cooker for this recipe, however if you cook in a normal pan, you need to extend the cooking time by 1 ½ hours (or until the beans are soft).



  • 400g Mixed beans (I like Waitrose 10 bean mix, soaked overnight)

  • 100g Small shell pasta (I like Jamie’s Conchiglietti mini shell pasta)

  • 1.5ltr of vegetable stock

  • 1 x large leek

  • 1 x large onion

  • 2 x large carrots (minced)

  • 1 x celery (chopped)

  • 2 x cloves of garlic

  • 1 x bouquet garni 

  • Salt & Pepper to taste (I normally season when I add the pasta)

  • Pinch of chilli flakes


  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water and then rinse, drain and leave to the side when you are ready to cook them

  2. In a pressure cooker fry off the onion and leek until soft, and then add the carrot, celery, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes

  3. Add the beans, bouquet garni (or just Thyme works well), vegetable stock and then stir and add the lid

  4. Cook at maximum heat for 20 minutes, and then turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes

  5. Release the steam, remove the lid and check the beans are soft. Should they still be too hard then replace the pressure cooker lid and cook for a further 10 minutes at max heat

  6. Add the shell pasta and cook as per cooking instructions (normally 9 minutes)

  7. Check the soup does not get too thick, if it does add a little water

  8. Ensure you stir the pasta frequently to stop it sticking  to the bottom of the pan

  9. Serve up with a drizzle of oil.

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