Haricot and Leek Soup, with pan-fried eddoes

This has to be the simplest soup in my repertoire – so to speak. Why does repertoire sound a tad p?! Anyway, with so few ingredients this haricot and leek soup tasted amazing. Seriously, shouldn’t I be embarrassed to admit that? Nope. I’ve gone on about it before, no doubt, but there really isn’t anything better than using vegetables in season. Just makes such sense, besides anything else. Leeks! Never usually buy them at other times of the year as they don’t taste of anything much. They do right now. And the stench of ’em whilst prepping them is almost enough to make me wanna heave – their smell really is that strong. And that’s how it should be. They’re in season! Oh, and I love ’em.

Several weeks ago I’d bought a can of haricot beans to go with something for sups – my memory really is that bad as I’ve no idea what I made. That’s not the point here. I do remember thinking that I really should have a pack of dried haricot in my cupboards as they really are so tasty. And there you have it. So! Instead of going with this Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada) on pantryobsession (which I’m hoping to try at the weekend), that has a tomato base, I wanted to try them with leeks instead. With a little bit of fried crunch thrown in. Yes, that’s where the Eddoes come in. I’ve seen then in one of my local stores for months now, never knowing what to do with them.

And still don’t. What I suspect is possibly true, in that they’re not so special if boiled. Well, I hardly ever boil vegetables, apart from potatoes occasionally. And, regardless of treating these eddoes exactly like that, what I read about them online last night, albeit briefly, most peoples comments were that they wouldn’t bother to buy them again. That’s cos you boiled ’em! Pan-fried and they really work well with this soup. The only way I can describe them, excepting the obvious potato flavour, is to suggest a crunch not dissimilar to a potato flavoured wafer-y biscuit. Okay, not the best description. I’ll never get paid for writing this rubbish, let’s face it.

I’d definitely buy them again, the hairy and husky, cuddly littl’ things.

Haricot Bean and Leek Soup, with pan-fried eddoes


  • 100g (3.527 oz) x dried haricot (navy) beans, rinsed and soaked in plenty of cold water to cover
  • olive oil
  • 400g (14.11 oz) x leeks, white and pale green, trimmed, sliced crossways into discs and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • 500ml (1.057 pint) x cold water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x eddoes per person, peeled, rinsed and sliced crossways into discs (they are slimy to grip so take extra care when slicing)
  • seasoning, lots of freshly ground black pepper, to serve
  • single/light cream, to serve
  • freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Soak the beans overnight, following day rinse well and add them to a large saucepan with plenty of cold water to cover. Put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes or so. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again and set aside.
  • Using a heavy-based saucepan add a glug of olive oil, enough to cover its base, and add the leeks. Plonk on a lid and put on heat No 3. Stir through occasionally, and after about 15 minutes take off lid. continue to cook, stirring more often to prevent the leeks from catching on base of pan. Reduce heat to No 2 if necessary. Continue to cook until they start to almost caramelise, scraping any leeks caught on base of pan. When cooked this way they really do turn out nicely sweet. Take off heat and set aside.
  • Add a glug of oil to a large pan/skillet and put on heat No 3. When hot add the eddoes and pan-fry until golden on both sides. They do take a while to cook until golden, so leave about 20 minutes to be able to do so. When cooked place on kitchen paper/towel to drain excess oil and keep warm until the soup is ready to serve.
  • Using the same saucepan as the leeks pour in the water and add the stock cube. Add the beans and put on heat No 4. Bring to near boiling, reduce heat and sprinkle over the red pepper flakes. Simmer soup until ready to serve.
  • Serve the soup with the eddoes, a little single/light cream, lots of freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese and season to personal taste.


Peeled Eddoes

How an eddoe looks after peeling it. To slice them it’s probably better – and safer – to hold the end of them with a clean t-towel as they are incredibly slimy to grip.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


    • Thanks! I’m not going to argue here, but I don’t always agree with simple is ‘always’ best. Especially as I can’t get hold of lots of really good quality produce. When I can that’s when I like to keep things simple. Maybe I should start growing my own veg – wouldn’t that be just great 🙂


    • Thanks, Fae. Aren’t they sort of cuddly? Well, to look at anyway. I’ve always had a fascination with coconuts, and most things that grow in trees. Yet, I’ve never seen a real coconut. Hmm, one of these days!


  1. How fabulous are those eddoes! They look a little like oversized, hairy kiwi fruit – love the photo of them stacked in all their hairiness waiting to be shaved! Are they a seasonal delicacy? I’ve never seen them before in my part of the world – despite coming across quite a lot of fruit/veg that originated in Asia…
    Your soup looks so delicious Johnny! Love the addition of leek to almost any soup!


    • The eddoes I used are about the same size as kiwi fruit, with larger available. I went with the small just in case they’re like potatoes that can be boast in their centres if bought large. I’m not sure about their season. It seems they’re used fairly extensively within other cuisines, Caribbean for one. Although, I’ve never had them before. At this time of year, with the prices of non organic potatoes rocketing (and the quality going downhill rapidly), I really just want to be able to use these instead of. Oh, and the eddoes are of Asian origin. As far as I can make out.


  2. The soup sounds fantastic, Johnny. I love leeks and white beans together (recently braised them together, and then added mozzarella and parmesan on top and baked them, it was yummy). I have seen “eddoes” before at Asian and African stores, but I never get them, as I have no idea how to use them! How adventurous of you to have bought them and managed to cook them in a way that you liked!


    • Your leek and bean dish sounds really nice. As for being adventurous, have you seen the price of potatoes recently?! As I only needed a couple, and couldn’t get anything other than a very expensive bag of them, that decided me to try out the eddoes! Good enough reason, I suppose. Would definitely buy them again in lieu of potatoes.


    • They’re called malangas in Spanish speaking countries. Think I’ve got the spelling right 🙂 Yes, you’re right. With the right quality of ingredients simplicity can go a long way. Have to admit, this soup surprised me. Great to have such an easy one to prep and cook as a go-to throughout the colder months. Oh, talking of which…not liking British Winter Time at all!


    • Isn’t the name just great! Don’t even know the proper pronunciation. Guessing it’s like Eddies. However they’re called they’re not exactly bursting with flavour. Rather, I really liked their texture. And it makes a change from potatoes.


    • And I wish I could send! It’s the perfect soup for miserable weather. Partly as it’s so easy to make. I bet you have leeks growing that would be superb in this.

      Re tapas. I bet there are signs for tapas in every port as that’s where the tourists are! Some of my last trip was along both coasts (as in Med and East) but quite a lot of time was spent inland. You don’t find tapas there.


  3. I have to confess I’ve never seen an eddoe! haha they look funny 🙂 Thanks for pulling me out of my ignorance, while also proving that you can make a vegetarianism white bean soup which is delicious… you see, I always make them Spanish style with plenty of chorizo.


    • Having lived in London for so long I’ve seen veg that I couldn’t even put a name to. Never mind a recipe. There are over three hundred languages spoken there, so you can imagine the wealth of cuisine. As for chorizo, I’ve cut right back on all processed meats. Apart from the last couple of days! I bought a small pack of Polish kabanos, just for something spicy.


  4. The soup looks delicious, Johnny. I’m inspired. I may have to buy a hairy, ugly-looking vegetable that I’ve never used and pair it with some beans. I’m thinking maybe a sunchoke. Leeks taste good in almost all soups. This reminds me of my recent experiment with lotus root, bitter gord and long beans that I picked up at an asian market. Good job in figuring out what to do! It really is a good looking soup!


    • Love sunchokes! Or Jerusalem artichokes as they’re called over here. Can’t find them locally. Will have to try and find them this year, even if it means treking to a superstore. Something I’m loath to do. As for the bitter gourd, called karela, I don’t know what to do with those. That might just be the next odd looking veg I’ll go with 🙂


    • Besides using the eddoes as a bit of fun I do want to be able to replace potatoes at this time of year. Sometimes, they’re not only rubbish quality but expensive. Would far prefer a couple of eddoes, if that’s the case. Thanks, soup was good. Would love to try it with home-made chicken stock. Leeks and chicken are such a good pairing.


    • Well, I’m hoping you get to find the hairy, husky littl’ things! They do add a certain something to this particular soup. Rather than eating bread. Have to say, they’re not the most flavoursome of ingredients, but I happen to like their texture. Hope you enjoy the soup, if you get to make it. I’d like to try it with home-made chicken stock, but I used mine within Cauliflower Cheese – next post! Thanks for the comment.


  5. What a lovely sounding soup. I’ve discovered that the fewer the ingredients used, the better the taste in almost 100% of the time. I can just imagine what this soup tastes like with those fried eddoes on top. Thanks for sharing such a simple but unique recipe. Have a great week!


    • Thank you. Yes, I tend to agree with sometimes limiting ingredients for soups. At the weekend, and trying to recover from a wretched cold, I made chicken broth with lots of pan-fried leeks. Hah! I’m usually nervous of adding too many Aliums to the same broth. And I did. There was no need for an onion within the stock itself. It was almost as if it tasted soppy! Admittedly, my taste buds have been lacking. And appetite, too.

      Likewise! Can you believe it’s so close to Christmas?!


  6. Have you tried mashing the eddoes? It becomes grey! Brilliant for Halloween! I use eddoes as one would potatoes but I agree with you: fried is the best way – but everything tastes best when fried, right? 😉


    • That was the first time to use them. I’m glad you told me that as I’ve missed Hallowe’en! And, like little white turnip (and even celeriac) I have to fry them as otherwise they can be too bitter for my liking. Not the eddoes. I reckon they would taste bland if boiled.


  7. This soup looks so hearty and satisfying- especially its snowing like crazy outside. I wish I had a big bowl of it right now!

    Other than being slimy, are eddoes difficult to work with? Those husks look pretty menacing!


    • The eddoes are very easy to peel. It’s afterwards when they can slip right out of your hands whilst trying to chop them. A bit like firm persimmons, if you’ve ever tried to chop those to cook them. Other than that they are quite fun!


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