Basic Bean Soup

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Follow instructions for Split Pea Soup (on this website) except other beans need to be pre-soaked, then cooked completely or partially, with the cooking water discarded before adding them to the soup pot.  (Or use them canned).

May add barley to the soup part way through cooking.  It expands: a little goes a long way. 


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Butternut Squash Corn and White Bean soup

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Fat Free Vegan Summer Harvest Soup (Butternut Squash Sweet Corn and White Bean Soup)

Serves 4-5

Used verbatim from Low Fat Vegan Chef, after hearing someone absolutely rave about it.  You can read more about this here:


4 cups/1 qt./946 mL vegetable broth (homemade or low sodium)
1 large sweet onion, diced (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups/25 oz./1.5 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed (fresh or frozen)
2 1/2 cups sweet corn (fresh, frozen or canned – no sodium)
16 oz./453 g can white beans or chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or any other seasoning of choice)
3/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper


  1. Saute onions and garlic in a large pot over medium heat in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth until soft 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add squash, corn and beans and remaining broth and cover. Cook until squash is tender.
  3. Carefully spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture back into pot, add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Taste test and adjust seasonings if desired.

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Navy Bean Soup*

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I'm head over heels for the Navy Bean Soup at the great One World Cafe in Baltimore.  I congratulated the chef-owner, Sue Novak, who is passionate about serving healthy food.  For example, if oil is used in her dishes, it's in minimal amounts.  For the navy bean soup, she divulged only that she uses onions, celery, possibly other veggies, and spices which may vary from batch to batch.  Below is my attempt to recreate her version of this classic soup, which I can't recommend highly enough. 

NOTES:  It's always easier (of course) to cook beans in advance, especially if you freeze them pre-measured (1.5 cans of cooked beans, the equivalent of one 15-oz can, fits into a standard 2-cup Pyrex container).  If you don't already have pre-cooked beans, it's easier to use canned.  


  • 1.5 cups dry white beans (navy, great northern or cannellini).   After soaking for 4 - 10 hours this becomes 4 cups of soaked beans.   This is about the same as four 15-oz cans of canned beans, (which is about 4.5 cups).  (Canned beans should work also)
  • 6 cups of water  
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped = one TBSP.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 medium - large zucchini, chopped (2 cups or more).
  • 1 teaspoons salt  (optional)
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 TBSP of fresh thyme stripped from the stems
  • 1/4 - 3/8ths teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • If starting with dried beans, soak for 6 - 10 hours, discard the soaking water.

  • In a large pot, boil (simmer) the soaked beans in 6 cups of water, covered, for 1 to 1.5 hours, until soft. 

  • Separate about a third of the cooked beans into a separate container, allow them to cool somewhat, and blenderize them completely in a blender of food processor.  (Partially blenderized beans and/or veggies are not visually appealing.  You can do the blenderizing step before or after adding the veggies as long as you blenderize completely.   i.e., sticking an immersion blender into the whole pot doesn't work as well).  Recombine the blended beans with the intact ones.      

  • Then add all the other ingredients (except that you can reserve the salt until just before serving, if using).  

  • Simmer for at least an additional 30 – 40 minutes. 

  • Correct the seasonings, and serve

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Whatever is Handy Soup

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I use a 3.5 quart slow cooker.  Fill slow cooker about 2/3 full with water and turn to high temperature.  Add:

1/2 cup of lentils or split peas that have been rinsed (or plan ahead and use 1/2 cup of other dried beans that have been washed and then soaked in water over night.  Drain and rinse before putting in the slow cooker.)


1/2 cup of whole grain such as brown rice or barley or bulgur

I turn the heat to low when the water has gotten hot, before it decides to boil over.  I let the beans and grains cook for a couple hours.  Then I add vegetables:

1) clean and dice root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions or leeks, sweet potatoes - whatever is handy

2) add chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill

3) any other vegetables you like such as broccoli, cauliflower, frozen mixed vegetables, etc.


I let the beans, rice, and vegetables cook for a couple more hours until everything is soft, then I add 3 vegetable bouillon cubes (I like Rapunzel brand).  After an hour or two more, I have a soup or stew for dinner. I freeze leftovers in 2 cups containers to take to work for lunch.

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Lemon Lentil Soup

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Lemon Lentil Soup
Stephanie Harter (from
 50 minutes
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth, no or low sodium
1 cup red Lentils, rinsed and drained
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons raw Cashews or 1 1/2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice (about 2 small lemons)
1 head baby bok choy, chopped (could substitute 1 1/2 C chopped greens, such as kale or spinach)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
pepper to taste

Place carrots, celery, vegetable broth, lentils, coriander and cumin in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for forty minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender. 

In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup of the soup with cashews and lemon juice. Return to pot along with bok choy or greens and heat until greens are wilted. Stir in parsley and season with pepper.

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Curried Leek Soup*

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Contributed by Sandra Crockett      
Modified from The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook by John and Mary McDougall, where it was called "curried Swiss chard soup" - but any greens could be used).

(Sandra:   The original recipe called for one teaspoon sugar, but it's not needed;  it also called for 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, but I prefer it without)

(Editor: When adding greens to soup, or any dish, it's a good idea to add them only to the amount that will be consumed.  The greens get wilted on storage, so store the leftovers without the greens).  

1/3 cup water 
Two leeks, sliced thin 
One and 1/3 cups vegetable broth
One 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
One 15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
Two teaspoons curry powder
4 cups finely chopped Swiss chard (can substitute mustard greens or Kale)
Place water in a large soup pot. Add leeks and cook, stir frequently for two minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for Swiss chard. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, simmer  for 15 minutes. Add Swiss chard, stir and cook until wilted about one minute. Serve at once.

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Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

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contributed by Sharon McRae:,
Link to original recipe at  (Recipe By : Susan Voisin)
Sharon:   "This is one of our favorite recipes; everyone who has tried it here loves it.

2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic — minced
5 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups red lentils
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1) In a pressure cooker, sauté the onion and garlic in 1/2 cup of the water until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils and the remaining water. Seal the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes; then remove from heat and allow pressure to come down naturally.

2) Add the parsley and salt (if using). Add additional water if the soup is
too thick. If the lentils are not completely tender, replace the lid (but
don’t lock it) and cook until they are done. Just before serving, stir in
the lemon juice or sprinkle each bowl of soup with a little lemon juice. 

Regular Directions: Instead of pressure cooking, simmer the soup in a large pot for about 1 hour or until lentils are cooked. Proceed with step 2 above.

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Split Pea Soup*

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The vegetables give this a surprising sweet flavor!   So good!

WARNING:  This makes a massive quantity. 
Reduce quantities the first time.  
It’s so much you will need to freeze it in portions (that’s the beauty of it).  Use 2-cup Pyrex containers.


3 quarts of water
2 pounds dry split peas (OR split chana dal peas, which might be even more delicious)
6 cups chopped carrots (= 2 lbs).
4 cups chopped celery.
2 – 3 large or very large onions (as much as 8 -10+ cups)
2 TABLESPOONS dried oregano leaves
3-4 TEASPOONS dried thyme leaves.
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional:  2 – 3 bay leaves
Large bunch of well-chopped fresh parsley at end. 


  • Bring water to a boil
  • Add split peas, return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered.
  • Add bay leaves.
    Stir occasionally to prevent peas from sticking to the bottom. 
    (Chop veggies while the peas are cooking)
  • Simmer for 40 - 60 minutes or until peas are partially or mostly disintegrated.  You can hasten this process with an immersion blender. (You want very few intact peas remaining).
  • Then add remaining ingredients.   (There is NO need to sauté veggies first).
  • Return to a boil again, reduce the heat and simmer covered, for an another 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft. 
  • After removing from heat, remove the bay leaves and mix in the chopped parsley.

Thaw / reheat soup as is.  There is no need to add salt or oil.

This soup can be a delicious vehicle for additional veggies in either small or large amounts.
If adding veggies, only add to the portion to be consumed because they don't store well.  
For example, a large quantity of dark leafy greens can be heated in the soup for a minute or less (which removes the bitterness).
Also, raw cabbage,  broccoli slaw, or additional raw chopped carrots, purple onions and/or celery which add crunch.
The soup makes these added veggies delicious.  Depending on the quantity it no longer appears to be a soup, and may not be visually presentable if served to others.  (Meaning: more for you!)



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