Lenny’s Bean Soup

Lenny's Bean Soup

Lenny’s Bean Soup

In this recipe, my brother, Leonard, steps in to assist with some of his well-known recipes. Lenny, as I have always called him, was named after Len Hattingh, a famous cricketer. My family was and is most passionate about cricket. Leonard emigrated to Israel many years ago. He has for a long time had his own restaurant and food stalls, at which he has cooked professionally. He is a great chef, and I appreciate his contribution to this book.
Serves 8 – 10


  • 1 turkey neck or leg/thigh, remove skin 250 ml broad white beans (soak overnight)
  • 1 large head of celery, scrubbed clean of sand and sliced thinly
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 ml ground cumin or chilli flakes
  • 45 ml tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 160 g kale, rinsed well and shredded (optional)


  1. Place all the ingredients, except kale, in a large saucepan with 4 litres of water. Bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer until the beans are soft, approximately 60 – 75 minutes. Add kale 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  3. Remove any bones from turkey neck, or from leg/thigh. Cut up into small pieces. Adjust seasoning as required.
  4. This soup freezes well.


  • Use 160 g (2 x 80 g packets) spinach in place of kale; add 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • Use 4 x chicken legs or a chicken carcass instead of turkey.

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