Four bean vegetable soup

Try it!

This delicious and nutritious bean soup is filling enough to be a main course all on it's own.

Don’t settle for just one, sad type of bean! This nourishing and super healthy soup is packed with fresh ingredients and four types of beans for a dose of healthy protein and fiber.
I added pasta but feel free to simply serve it with bread or add potatoes, barley, bulgur or rice.

Are beans good for you?

Yes! First off, they’re a great way to load up on fiber and plant-based protein. Beans are inexpensive, simple to prepare, and healthy.
Because of their nutritional composition, consumed regularly, beans have the potential to improve your diet and long-term health.
Eating more beans may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Above that, beans are:
nutrient rich
great source of protein and fiber
full of folate
gluten free
budget friendly

white beans

Preparing dry beans

You can purchase canned beans [ check the label for any suspicious additives ] or cook them yourself using dry beans. To do so, you need to follow certain steps to ensure dry beans are cooked properly.
The four basic steps are: cleaning, rinsing, soaking and cooking.
The first two steps simply involve removing any broken beans or foreign objects from beans, and then rinsing them in a colander under cold running water.

Soaking dry beans

After inspecting and rinsing dry beans, it is time to soak them. I personally prefer a hot soak method: Add 5 cups of cold water to the pot for 1 cup of beans. Bring the water to a boil and cover with a lid. Set aside and soak for 4 – 5 hours. Drain and rinse soaked beans and simmer until tender. 1 cup of dry beans = 2 – 2½ cups of cooked beans. You can also soak the beans overnight. Add 5 cups of cold water to the pot for 1 cup of beans, cover with a lid and soak for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse soaked beans and simmer until tender.
When cooked properly, beans should be tender but not mushy. Skins still should be intact, but the bean can be mashed easily between two fingers or with a fork.
Drain beans immediately after they have reached the desired texture to prevent overcooking.
Tips for cooking dry beans
  • to cook soaked beans, add fresh, cold water to fully cover beans, plus a teaspoon of salt, if you wish. Simmer the beans until they are tender
  • avoid cooking different types of beans together at the same time! Different types of beans have different cooking times
  • stir beans from time to time, to prevent sticking during cooking
  • you also can flavor your cooking beans – try adding onions, garlic, fresh herbs [ bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, parsley ] . Beans tend to absorb the flavors of the ingredients with which they are cooked.

    vegan bean vegetable soup

    Four bean vegetable and pasta soup

    Servings 4 servings
    Prep Time 30 mins

    Equipment

    • medium/large cooking pot

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp olive oil + extra for serving, optional
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 1 carrot chopped
    • 1 celery stalk chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 tbsp italian herbs fresh or dried
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
    • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper or chili
    • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
    • ½ cup white beans cooked or canned
    • ½ cup red beans cooked or canned
    • ½ cup black eyed beans cooked or canned
    • ½ cup black cooked or canned
    • freshly ground pepper to taste
    • salt to taste
    • 1 cup fresh spinach tightly packed
    • ½ cup pasta dry

    Instructions

    • In a large pot, sauté the diced onions, carrots and celery until onions are softened. Then stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper/chili [ optional ], tomato paste and mustard - sauté for another minute, stirring frequently 
    • Pour in the vegetable broth [ or water ], add the beans, pasta [ you can cook pasta in the soup or use leftover pasta - see notes ] and season with salt and pepper - if needed. Let it simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time [ so pasta won't stick to the bottom of the pot ] or until the vegetables are softened to your liking and pasta is cooked 
    • Stir in fresh spinach and cook another minute or two, until wilted
    • Drizzle the soup with good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper or chili flakes before serving

    Notes

    You can cook pasta in the soup or use leftover pasta. In that case simply divide your cooked pasta between the bowls and pour the soup over it.
    Nutritional value - portion
    294 kcal | Carbohydrates 42 g | Protein 12 g | Fat 6.2 g | Fiber 13.6 g
    Course: Soup
    Keyword: beans, budget friendly, easy, gluten free option, high fiber, high in protein
    Four bean vegetable and pasta soup

    How to store and reheat four bean vegetable soup?

    To store leftovers: Make sure to let your soup come to room temperature. Then store in the fridge, covered for 4 – 5 days. Ways to freeze: Once the soup is cooled, pour it into a freezer safe container. Freeze it for up to a month. How to reheat: To reheat a single serving, pour it into a small pan and warm it up on the stovetop [ you can also pour it into a bowl and microwave it for a few minutes until warmed through ]. For a bigger batch, just pour it back into the pot and warm it up on the stovetop.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
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    Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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