Italian Mixed Bean Soup
photo by Kim127
- Ready In:
- 10hrs 20mins
- 2 cups dried beans, mixed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 8 cups water
- 2 large bouillon cubes (vegetable)
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (italian seasoning or plain)
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (it doesn't make it spicy, just wakes up the flavors)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- salt and pepper
- Pick through the dried beans and discard any shrivled or broken beans. Also watch out for tiny stones. You can use any mix of beans you like but my mix tends to inclue equal parts navy beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans.
- Put the beans in a large pot and add water enough to cover the beans by a good 3 inches. Cover and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. (alternately you can put the beans in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat, let stand for an hour. It yields a differnt texture but still yummy).
- Drain beans.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic until the onion becomes translucent or about 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrots, saute another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the 8 cups of water, bouillon cubes and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Add lentils, tomatoes, spinach, ground red pepper, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes more.
- Both beans and lentils should be soft at this point. If they are not let them simmer longer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
I already made beans from scratch and was trying to figure what to do with them. Found this recipe and it was perfect. Used 2 cups of fresh spinach roughly chopped and added zucchini. Used fresh oregano which I had on hand and some basil paste. Pulled out some beans and broth, used the blender and returned it to the soup to make it even thicker. YUM!!!
This makes lovely soup. I made two and a half batches, so I'll have a lot of good soup for a pretty long time. I did take some liberties with the recipe - I wanted to use up all the odds and ends of beans in the cupboard, so had a pretty ecletic mix. I used whole mung beans and split yellowish colored some kind of lentils I think, in place of the lentils. I only used one carrot, but put in a bunch of parsley. I added some tomato paste in place of some of the canned tomatoes. I had to cook this quite a while before my pretty elderly beans became tender. I did use a Japanese green leafy vegetable similar to spinach (komatsu na), because I prefer it. Anyway, I now have a huge pot of delicious soup, which I will portion out and freeze for later enjoyment. Thank you very much for this recipe. However, I would like to add that it doesn't seem to mention cooking the beans anywhere. I think that might be something nice to add.
I make this soup fairly often but I add a Parmesan rind when I add the stock/bouillon (before simmering for an hour and 40 mins). I keep parmesan blocks in the fridge and save the rinds for this purpose! Take out the rind before serving ;) a Adds a really yummy complex umami flavor to the final product!