Kidney Bean Soup


The first few weeks of the year have been really cold !!!! Amma had to leave with my sis S to take care of her for a bit……you see, I am expecting a nephew/niece this year !!! Very exciting !! Soon after amma left , I fell sick, some sinus infection along with swollen tonsils and then after that ran its course, the flu !!! The flu presented itself just as soon as amma landed back in ATL !! Anyway, half the time, I was too sick to cook anything and when I did I found that my taste buds were pretty dead !!! I figured a soup would be perfect, easy for me to eat and filling ….’coz lets face it making anything was pretty hard in my condition !!!!

So what does one make when one is sick , tired, pumped full of medication and needs nourishment ???? Whatever one has in the pantry of course !!! I had kidney beans , onions, and tomatoes so I figured that I would make a Rajma Shorba. I also did not want to stand there and stir, sauté or any of that nonsense so I figured I would start with a pressure cooker and then work my way from there. What is the difference between a shorba and a soup you, ask…….nothing soup is English while Shorba is what you call a soup in the Middle East and south Asia ! It is derived from the word Arabic word Shurbah which means “ to drink “ !! I am calling it a shorba b’coz it just feels fancier and this soup is so ridiculously easy , I think it needs a fancy name to balance things out !!! By the way, did you know that some form of the word shorba is used for soup in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Central Asia , South Asia and China !!! The word soup originated in France and then spread from there to the Americas . Therein ends my history lesson of the day !!!

kidney bean soup

Back to the recipe, as I said I wanted something easy…..I had just recovered but could not do anything ‘coz I had no strength ! I stood in front of the pantry, there were beans, onions and garlic…out those came. In front of the fridge, the process is repeated and I pull out green chillies and tomatoes. I am trying to figure out how to cook these and then it hits me….why not dump everything in the pressure cooker and then blitz it after ??? And thats precisely what I did.

 I have to say the results were worth it. The soup was earthy , courtesy of the beans also creamy without the addition of any diary b’coz of said beans. I did add a dollop of sour cream to mine ….I love sour cream with my bean soups. I also kept it simple with seasonings……a hint of sweetness from the onions, tartness from lime juice, heat from green chillies and ginger. I would love to say the tomatoes contributed something but it is winter, the tomatoes were from the supermarket and I didn’t have canned….need I say more ??!! They were there to provide more bulk and a hint of color. Ordinarily, I would’ve raided my spice drawer for something to put in but circumstances dictated that nothing be used . By habit I added turmeric for color but I don’t think it contributed much b’coz I didn’t notice the difference !!! I have to say that sick or not, this is one good soup and I anticipate making it again and again.

Kidney Bean Soup



2 cups dried Red Kidney Beans

½ cup coarsely chopped Red Onions

½ cup coarsely chopped Tomatoes

1 inch Ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled

2 Green Chillies

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to Taste

½ tsp Turmeric

¼ cup Sour Cream ( optional )

¼ cup chopped Green Onions


Clean and rinse the beans. Soak the beans in 3 cups of hot water for 30 mins. Do not Drain.

Now add the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies to the beans, water and all.

Put them in a pressure cooker. I let them go for 3 whistles. Alternately you can cook them on the stovetop. Bring it to a boil and then simmer covered till beans are tender.

Cool slightly. Then I processed them in the food processor. If you have an immersion blender, then use that. The soup should be a little coarse with some whole beans for texture.

Return to low heat. Add the turmeric, salt and lime juice. Allow flavors to blend. If you think it is a little thick , then add some warm water to dilute.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you like and garnish with green onions.