Hearty Three-Bean Soup

A Nor’easter is blowing through our area, just in time for Thanksgiving travel. It’s cold, windy and rainy — a perfect night for soup.

As you may have noticed, I make a lot of soups and pasta dishes at home. We go out to eat one to three times a week, and we really enjoy discovering a good restaurant. But I don’t go out for dishes like soup and pasta (unless it’s at one of the two local restaurants that make really good homemade pasta, something I can’t do). I find restaurant soups to be either too rich, full of cream and cheese, or too blandly seasoned, especially at those mid-range restaurants. And an order of pasta is likely to result in a pound of pasta and rich sauce, which I find daunting.

At home, I tend to make hearty but low-calorie soups with lots of veggies and flavor, and pasta dishes that are light on the pasta but are really satisfying. For eating out, I’ll save those dishes I can’t make so easily, or so much better, at home. This soup falls into the hearty category, and it’s perfect for a rainy, wintry night.

Three-Bean Soup

Serves: 4
Time to make: ~30 minutes

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced celery
  • 2 tbsp. minced carrots
  • salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
  • ½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned three-bean mixture
  • 1 bunch chopped kale or other greens
  • grated Parmesan to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium. Saute the onion, celery and carrots until soft. Season with salt, pepper and whatever else you like. Add the potatoes and stir around a bit. Add the stock, tomatoes and beans. Raise the heat and let come to a bubble. Add the kale. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the greens are well-cooked. Garnish with grated Parmesan.

Notes: I used a seasoning mix that included paprika, sage and cayenne. I added a little more after each additional ingredient to build up the flavor. I used a mixture of “salad” beans — kidney, pinto and garbanzo — but any beans will work.


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One thought on “Hearty Three-Bean Soup

  1. David 23 November 2006 at 10:26 am

    sounds like a good one! I too like to go for things in restaurants that I’m less likely to eat at home. for instance, I like to eat at Indian restuarants; I do make it myself sometimes, but it is quite time consuming!

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