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At this time in the harvesting calendar runner beans can be past their best and it is certainly the case on our allotment at the moment.  But having taken the time to grow them and then pick them, I was determined to find a recipe that would turn stringy runner beans into something delicious. 

I am delighted with the results and thought I would share it with you.  It has a yummy subtle flavour, and the onions and mint along with a dash of sour cream make a lovely combination of flavours.

2 lb runner beans
3 onions
1 large potato
vegetable stock
1/2 pint milk
sour cream
handful of fresh mint
dash of olive oil


  • Chop the onions and in a large saucepan fry them in some olive oil until they turn clear
  • Wash the runner beans and remove the stringy edges with a potato peeler
  • Chop the beans and then add the beans and their seed pods to the onions
  • Peel the potato, chop into chunks and add to the saucepan
  • Add a sprig of mint torn into small pieces
  • Cook gently for a few minutes
  • Add the vegetable stock – use enough to cover the vegetables
  • Simmer gently for around 20 minutes
  • During the cooking add the milk
  • When all the vegetables are cooked add the remaining mint and then blend in a food processor
  • Add more vegetable stock or milk if the soup is too thick
  • Reheat the soup if necessary and add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl along with some croutons and a sprinkling of freshly chopped mint