27. Aug, 2014

What to do with runner beans

Do you have a glut of runner beans? Here are just a few ideas to help you use them up. 

            Runner bean soup

Cook an onion in some melted butter in a saucepan until soft. Stir in some flour until thickened then add some stock. Bring to the boil and add the beans (chopped up and de-stringed) plus herbs of your choice. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Season! You could also add a carrot, potato, garlic and celery.

          Vegan Sri Lankan (BBC Good Food Guide)

This spice pot for vegans is cooled down by adding coconut milk, cinnamon, mustard seeds, ginger and garam masala.


  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • large piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole dried red chilli
  • 300g runner beans, stringed and sliced
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • handful fresh coriander
  • rice and rotis, to serve (optional)

First! In a blender, combine the onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic and 1 tbsp of the oil together with a large pinch of salt. Heat the remaining oil in a shallow pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and cook until they crackle, then add the onion paste and cook until sticky.

Then! Stir through the curry powder, then pour in the coconut milk. Add the cloves, cinnamon and the chilli, and bring to a simmer. Tip in the beans and simmer for 15 mins or until the beans are tender. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the garam masala, take the pan off the heat and stir through the coriander. Serve with rice and rotis, if you like.


But at our home for waifs and strays, we prefer them lightly cooked, seasoned and served with a knob of butter and new potatoes.