When you don’t eat meat, hearty soups are a necessity. Even if you do eat meat, a hearty, comforting soup like this one is ideal for a weeknight dinner.
We recently stocked up on a variety of dried beans from the bulk section at our local store and were surprised at the high quality (organic) and super low price! We’ve been making a concerted effort to check the bulk section for pantry staples before heading straight to packaged items, and we’re doing our best to bring reusable produce bags so we don’t have to waste plastic/unnecessary packaging. We’ve also found that storing bulk foods in our pantry helps with organization, which means we can actually see everything we’ve purchased and thus spend less money at the store!
Dried beans are surprisingly easy to cook with. For some reason or another, we’ve always been a bit intimidated by dried beans – we’d buy a bag and let them sit in the pantry until so much time had passed that we couldn’t remember buying them. Now, with our resolution to use less packaging and plastic, we’ve been forced (in a positive way) to give them a chance. To prep these beans for the soup, we poured 2 1/2 cups of mixed beans into a pot, covered with water (3 inches above beans), added a touch of salt, boiled for 2-3 mins and then turned off the heat and let sit covered for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
If you only have one or two types of dried beans in your pantry, simply substitute for whatever you have on hand. We used a mix of garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto and black beans – about a half cup of each. As the men in our house do eat meat, we served theirs with a bit of chorizo. If part of your family eats meat and the other does not (like our family), simply divide the soup once it’s finished cooking and add meat to one half. We’ve included directions below for both options. Don’t forget to serve with warm, crusty bread!Print
This hearty five bean vegetable soup is full of plant protein.
- 2 1/2 cups dried beans – we used 1/2 cup each of garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto and black beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 7 cups vegetable broth
- 12 oz crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups chopped greens (spinach and kale)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 3/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- Optional: 1/2 lb. chorizo
- Rinse 2 1/2 cups mixed beans well. In a large pot, cover beans with water (3 + inches above beans) and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let soak for 1-1.5 hours. Drain and rinse well.
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil to medium-high. Sauté diced onion and garlic 5-6 minutes, or until translucent and slightly softened, stirring frequently.
- (If adding chorizo, sauté over medium heat in a separate pan. When finished cooking, remove from heat.)
- Add diced carrots, celery and zucchini to onion and garlic mixture. Sauté additional 6-7 minutes or until slightly softened.
- Add soaked beans, broth, tomatoes, all spices and chorizo (if using). Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until all ingredients are fork tender. Stir in chopped greens about 5 minutes before soup is ready. (Be sure to remove bay leaves at end)
- Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!