Deliciously Herby Persian Bean Soup with Croutons

A beautiful soup with lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, spinach and mint. Fresh and substantial at the same time. A soup you will want to make again and again.

deliciously-herby-persian-bean-soup-croutons-vegan-2 1

Have you ever had a dish cooked by someone else that you just had to recreate at home? I was recently staying at a friend’s house and her husband (an incredible cook) had made a batch of this Persian soup packed with these translucent noodles.

We ate some for breakfast the next day. Yes, I know, soup for breakfast–don’t judge–and I immediately fell in love. The combination of fibre packed beans, chickpeas and green spinach perfectly paired with a pinch of spice, lemon and a hit of dried mint was breath-taking and mouth-watering all at the same time.

It was absolutely gorgeous, and I knew right there that I had to recreate this dish at home, so as soon as I walked through the door, I was in the kitchen making a start on re-creating.

I decided to not include the noodles, like he did, as it’s already got so many wonderful ingredients in the soup, I didn’t want those nutrient-dense veggies to get lost.

Traditionally, this soup has natural yogurt stirred in at the end to make it super creamy and luxurious and all that more warming and comforting.

I used coconut yogurt instead as its renowned for adding an extra layer of velvety richness but also imparting some of that coconut nuttiness into the already fragrant broth.

If you’re not that keen on coconut or want to keep the dish to a more traditional recipe, you can use a natural soy yogurt to the same effect.

My friend’s husband also made homemade croutons to float on top, and the crunch of these was definitely what made this dish such a star in my eyes. If you have never made homemade croutons, now is the time to start–they are super simple and super quick, but they add such a different flavour and texture that is almost impossible to describe. You just have to try it for yourself to see what I mean.

Wanting to add my own Rebel Recipes spin to the recipe, I stirred in some fresh spinach and walnut pesto as a last flourish, that I had in my fridge from another recipe (my deliciously grilled mushrooms with pesto which you can read here).

Again, this is optional but if you decide to try it for this recipe, make extra–it’s incredible on top of pizzas and flatbreads or stirred through gnocchi or pasta for a quick earthy yet zingy meal that ticks all the right boxes and created in only a few minutes.

The recipe is super simple to create and because it’s cooked all in one pan, makes the washing up a breeze!

I always make extra portions when creating this recipe because the flavours are even better the next day once they have developed and infuse all the wonderful components, plus it freezes and keeps really well, making it the perfect meal-prepping dish.

Just portion out and freeze in jars or individual portions and thaw overnight in the fridge–it can be kept in the freezer for a few weeks.

And your croutons can also be kept for a few days. Just keep them in an airtight container or bag and store in a cool dry and dark place.

It’s also super adaptable, meaning you can use up any leftover veggies in the fridge or swap out for your favourite ingredients:

  • Swap out the chickpeas for butter beans or another white bean variant
  • Use curly kale instead of spinach
  • Add a swirl of coconut yoghurt or a drizzle of tahini dressing for extra creaminess and luxury
  • Use green lentils of green split peas instead of red lentils
  • Add a little more extra liquid (stock or water) while cooking to make a more stew based texture, then serve with herbed or spiced rice, saffron works very well, or mashed or boiled potatoes
 

If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other soup recipes a try…?

My Smokey Red Pepper and Lentil soup is perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons, especially if it’s a little grey outside.

My Creamy Mushroom Soup, which is drizzled with Truffle Oil, is made even more luxurious with the addition of Sourdough Toasts, which are the perfect minor accompaniments to dip and delve into the creamy velvet soup.

And finally, the dish that has been awarded my all-time-favourite, my Moroccan Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Soup a favourite for multiple reasons–you seriously need to try it!

deliciously-herby-persian-bean-soup-croutons-vegan-2 1a

Deliciously Herby Persian Bean Soup with Croutons

A beautiful soup with lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, spinach and mint. Fresh and substantial at the same time. A soup you will want to make again and again.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
4 servings
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

To make the soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Big twist black pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 l/6 cups veg stock
  • 150 g/ 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 3 big handfuls spinach chopped
  • 1 can organic chickpeas drained
  • 1 can organic red kidney beans drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Extra salt/pepper to taste

To serve

  • A dollop of coconut or vegan yogurt or tahini
  • Pesto dukka or croutons
  • Fresh torn mint and/or coriander

For the croutons

  • Two big slices of slightly stale fresh bread of choice.
  • 1 -2 tbsp olive oil
  • Big pinch sea salt

Instructions

To make the soup

  • In a large pan, add the olive oil and onions and cook on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes until soft and browning.
  • Add in the garlic, salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir to combine and cook for a minute.
  • Next, add the stock, lentils, spinach and spring onions. Simmer for approx 25 minutes, then add the chickpeas, beans, mint and lemon juice.
  • Cook for a further 7-8 minutes. Then season well.
  • Add your toppings, croutons, fresh mint and/or coriander, yogurt, pesto, dukka, etc

To make the croutons

  • Pre heat your oven to 180c
  • Slice the bread in two large squares–I chopped them into approx 1-inch squares.
  • Drizzle some olive oil onto a large baking tray. Add the bread and move around to coat the bottom well.
  • Add a big pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle a little more olive oil onto the top.
  • Transfer to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Flip then return to the oven for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
  • Allow to cool.
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More Recipes with Lentils, Chickpeas or Kidney Beans

Discuss this Recipe with Niki
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32 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious. Sometimes I see a recipe and read great reviews and it falls short. This was perfect. There isn’t anything I would change. I will be making this a lot. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious!! I used less water and a little more lentils to make it more of a meal. So easy to make with common cupboard ingredients. This will be on my “go to’ list too 😉

  3. 5 stars
    Love this! Found it in a vegan magazine a year or 2 ago and I’ve hunted it down for my regular dinner Pinterest board I love it so much. Also made for my mum who cooks it at least once a week. So yummy. Thank you! X

  4. Would this work if I reduced the liquid to make it more like a stew? Was thinking of serving over saffron rice.

  5. 5 stars
    I am 72 and have been making soup for eons but never in a million years of soup making would have come up with this flavour combo. Absolutely love the mint and two different types of beans together. And lots of black pepper makes the turmeric benefits more accessible. I used blanched kale instead of spinach. I made a big batch and gave some to my soup-loving and soup-making (sort of) son-in-law and my pregnant daughter and they loved it too. So it’s not just a soup only vegans would love. Woo Hooo. Adding this to my Regular Recipes file. Bless you, Niki.

  6. The soup was delicious, even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it and it will be on my ‘regular’ to make list. Thank you.

  7. This was so flavorful and filling, what a lovely recipe! Glad I doubled the amount and have some yummy leftovers now 🙂

  8. I made this soup last weekend and it is one of the nicest soups I have ever made. The flavours are amazing. Thank you 🙂

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