Kathy Hester’s ‘The Great Vegan Bean Book’: Tongue of Fire Soup

Tongue of Fire Soup: Photograph by Renee Comet

Tongue of Fire Soup: Photograph by Renee Comet

Today I am pleased to be part of the very talented cookbook author Kathy Hester’s blog tour for her latest and greatest book The Great Vegan Bean Book. Kathy, who is just fabulous in both the kitchen and garden,  is also the force behind the fun site Healthy Slow Cooking.

When I first saw this book I was blown away–not only with the vast creativity behind the abundant bean-filled recipes, but also by the absolute beauty of the book. The layout is adorable with gorgeous photographs by Renee Comet. This book is one you’ll want to revisit again and again as the recipes are perfect for all seasons and all appetites. Not to mention, there are plenty of gluten-free and soy-free options for the food-restricted among us.

Kathy (and the wonderful folks at Fair Winds Press) have been kind enough to share her recipe for Thai Coconut Tongue of Fire Soup. This creamy soup packs a mighty punch in the flavor department.


Thai Coconut Tongue of Fire Soup

soy-free | gluten-free | oil-free

From ‘The Great Vegan Bean Book” by Kathy Hester (Reprinted With Permission From Fair Winds Press)

The tongue of fire in the title refers to a variety of heirloom beans with that name,which have a meaty mouthfeel and an undertone of spice in them. They are firm like kidney beans, which you can use in their place if you can’t find the exotic ones.

2 cups (470 ml) water
1 can (14 ounces, or 400 ml) light coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste or
3 pieces lemongrass, smashed with the flat side of a knife (or substitute 1 teaspoon other lemony herbs such as verbena or lemon balm, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
1 teaspoon galangal root paste or grated ginger
1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Two 1-inch-long (2.5-cm) slices ginger
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced or minced
1 ½ cups (375 g) cooked Tongue of Fire or kidney beans or 1 can (15 ounces, or
420 g), rinsed and drained
1 cup (164 g) corn kernels
½ teaspoon salt
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
Zest of ½ lime
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus more for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Put the water, coconut milk, garlic, lemon grass paste, galangal root paste, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, mushrooms,
beans, corn, and salt into a large saucepan or small stockpot. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes so the flavors can infuse into the broth.
Add the red pepper, lime zest, and cayenne and cook until the veggies are tender but still firm, about 15 more
minutes. Add the cilantro and taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Serve with the lime wedges and extra cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings
Per 1 ½-cup serving: 187.8 calories; 5.0 g
total fat; 3.8 g saturated fat; 6.7 g protein;
28.2 g carbohydrate; 6.9 g dietary fiber;
0 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serving Suggestions & Variations
• I’ve found jarred galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and
lemon grass in my local grocery, so if you live in or
near a city you may be able to find these exotic ingredients
there. If they aren’t in a nearby store you can
also get them online.
• If you can’t find the kaffir lime leaves, they can be
left out

Fancy Bean Substitutes: Scarlet Runner Beans, Sangre de Toro

Share with friends!

9 Responses to Kathy Hester’s ‘The Great Vegan Bean Book’: Tongue of Fire Soup

  1. Mindy says:

    I love coconut based soup broths – I usually buy Amy’s coconut thai soup in a can. Now I will make this recipe fresh. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kate says:

    I will have to try this…. It sounds interesting and it looks so yummy.

  3. Andrea says:

    Gah — another book I think I really need. I almost bought a lemon verbena plant today but decided not to. I should have listened to my intuition.

    • allyson says:

      Andrea, Lemon Verbena is my favorite plant in the garden. So versatile and so fragrant! You need both the book and the plant, imho. :)

  4. Lauren says:

    I’m def going to try this… minus the corn. I don’t like corn in my food… It totally freaks me out. Is that weird? Sigh. Yes, it’s weird.


  5. Thank you for the recipe!
    I finally found Kaffir Lime Leaves…
    They also have Galangal Root and Lemongrass!
    This will be a fun recipe to try…cheers!

  6. You’ve convinced this meat eater to try this soup. It looks amazing and so flavorful!

  7. Vegyogini says:

    I love that she gives so many alternatives for the ingredients that might be more difficult to locate.

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