Curried Fava Bean and Salad Soup


Prep time: 
0 minutes


You can make a soup out of almost anything – as this simple soup aptly demonstrates.

It takes something of a leap of faith to believe that such unpromising ingredients as the tired outer leaves of a lettuce, and cucumber and tomatoes that are no longer fresh enough to serve in a salad can produce something even vaguely edible, let alone delicious, but this soup proves that you really can.

Soups are often thickened with potato but this recipe uses split fava beans, which add protein and boost the nutritional content of the soup. With a lower GI value than potatoes they also keep you feeling fuller for longer. And, unlike a lot of pulses, fava beans are grown in Britain.

So next time you find that, despite your best intentions, you discover salad ingredients lurking at the bottom of the fridge that are more than a little past their best give this soup a go. After all, what have you got to lose since most of the ingredients would otherwise be destined for the compost bin!

Makes 2 servings (just double, quadruple, etc depending on what you find in the fridge)


  • 0.5 tablespoon oil
  • 0.5 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 0.25 cucumber or 0.5 of a courgette, roughly diced
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 lettuce leaves, large, outside leaves. Roughly shredded
  • 50g split fava beans
  • 600 ml vegetable stock


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and, over a medium heat, sauté the chopped onions for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a further minute.
  2. Stir in the curry powder for a minute before adding the cucumber (or courgette), tomatoes, lettuce and split fava beans. Give everything a good stir then add the vegetable stock. Bring up to the boil and then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the split fava beans have softened. It won’t look wonderful at this stage, but that’s the case with lots of soups before they’re blended.
  3. Leave to cool slightly and then process with a blender to a smooth consistency. Gently re-heat, thinning with more water if desired and seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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