Coconut, White Bean and Celery soup

You are here

» Coconut, White Bean and Celery soup

I have a vivid childhood memory of my nan and grandad loving soup. Whether this was true or not, it’s a thought I simply don’t want to party with. Perhaps it’s because we’d often go for a Sunday roast when we lived in Devon, and a soup for starters was always the favoured choice. 

Creamed potato, celery or mushroom were the usual suspects. So, in light of this, with a slight Polish twist and coconut milk instead of dairy, this soup brings that childhood memory flooding back every time. 

Serves 6 Coconut, White Bean and Celery soup


For the soup: 

  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil 
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds  
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 large white or brown onion, diced 
  • 1 bunch celery, approx. 250 g, thinly sliced, leaves included 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped 
  • 1 apple, chopped, seeds removed, core included 
  • Approx. 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger 
  • 2 x 400 g tins of white beans (cannellini, navy, lima), drained and rinsed 
  • 1–1.5 litres of vegetable stock 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Dried chilli flakes (optional) 
  • 1 x 400 ml tin of coconut milk 
  • A large handful of fresh greens (kale, spinach, chard) 
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested 

For the croutons: 

  • 3–4 slices of stale bread, torn into small chunks 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Sesame seeds and lemon/lime zest (optional) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 °C fan, ready to make the croutons. Put the oil into a large pot over a medium heat, add the coriander and cumin seeds, and fry until fragrant. I like to bash the seeds slightly with the top of a wooden spoon to allow the flavours to deepen once you add the rest of your ingredients. 
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and slightly translucent. Add the sliced celery, celery leaves, garlic, apple, and ginger, and continue to sauté until the vegetables become soft and fragrant. 
  3. Add your beans and stock and bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt  and pepper to taste, adding a pinch of chilli flakes if you want a slight kick. 
  4. Once your soup starts to thicken, add the coconut milk and half your greens. Keep the heat low while the greens cook, adding the lime juice and zest as you go. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer to allow the soup to thicken further. 
  5. While the soup is simmering, make your croutons. Simply toss the torn bread with the olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper. If you are using any optional ingredients, add these now. Spread the bread on a baking tray and pop it into the oven for about 8–10 minutes, allowing it to crisp nicely. You can give the tray a shake about halfway through to prevent burning. Once cooked, remove it from the oven and place it to one side to cool and crisp up further. 
  6. Once your soup is nice and thick, turn off the heat and use a ladle to remove half the contents of the pot to a bowl. You can either use a hand blender or a high-speed blender that can take heat. Blend it until smooth. I like to keep my soup with some additional texture, but feel free to blend all or just part of the mix. 
  7. Add the purée back to the pot along with the rest of your greens and bring back to the boil, stirring to combine. 
  8. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with a squeeze of lime juice, any extra seasoning and the crispy garlic croutons. 

Nutrition tip 

Use light coconut milk to stay below saturated fat recommendations. 

Waste tip 

If you don’t have any beans or fancy swapping them for something else, potatoes are a great alternative, as they’re pretty much an all-year-round root vegetable (of course with a few exceptions as to varieties). You can also play with the greens you throw into the soup: feel free to add more for some extra iron, colour and an earthier taste. Occasionally, you’ll buy celery without its leaves. If this is the case, you can use a handful of fresh coriander: chop it finely and add it with the other ingredients. Coriander is also a great garnish should you fancy an extra-citrusy refreshing taste. 

Nutrition per portion 



Saturated fat  





308 Kcal  

9.4 g  

4.7  g  

42  g  

9.8  g  

11  g  

1.2  g 


Recipe from The Whole Vegetable by Sophie Gordon (Penguin, Michael Joseph, £28) – photography by Issy Croker. 

We’d love to see your recipe creations! Share your photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #VeganAndThriving.

Reg. Charity No: 279228 Company Reg. No: 01468880 Copyright © 1944 - 2024 The Vegan Society