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Million Bean Soup: The Recipe

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the bean soup I made over the weekend.  I didn’t post a recipe because, well, there wasn’t one!  As I had mentioned, this was one of those “add a little bit of everything” soups — the ones that often turn out better than one you might have planned.

Due to a number of e-mails, comments, and other virtual arm-twisting that requested the recipe for this soup, I wrote one down and am happy to present it here.  Like most bean soups, the flavor improves every day.  It thickens after it cools, so you should add more liquid (water, broth, or even tomato juice) as you heat up leftovers.  For a spicy tang, add some hot sauce when ready to serve.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Million Bean Soup

Okay, maybe more like 15 types of beans, but it sure tastes like a million – especially with the added flavor boost from fire-roasted tomatoes, marinara sauce, and liquid smoke.  Use a combination of whatever dried beans you have on hand or use a bag of mixed dried beans labeled for “15-bean soup.”

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound assorted dried beans, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

6 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable soup base (Better than Bouillon brand)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

1 cup marinara sauce

2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (to taste)

Hot pepper sauce, to serve (optional)

In a large (6-quart) slow cooker, combine the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Drain the soaked beans and add them to the slow cooker, along with the water, vegetable base, soy sauce, basil, and a little salt and pepper.  Cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours, or on High for 4 hours. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes, marinara sauce, spinach, rice, and liquid smoke.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper or vegetable base, if needed. Add a little more water if needed.  Cover and let cook another 30 minutes. Serve hot with hot pepper sauce, if using.

Serves 6





{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Pam October 9, 2012, 9:41 pm

    I was afraid that was why you didn’t print the recipe! Thanks!

    • Robin October 10, 2012, 1:14 pm

      You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy!

  • K Crane October 12, 2012, 12:43 pm

    goodness gracious that looks delicious. I will definitely have to make this soup. this is my kinda soup. I’m grateful you shared it. thanks 🙂

    • Robin October 12, 2012, 12:49 pm

      It’s my kinda soup too. I’m ready to make it again!

  • Carole October 13, 2012, 9:45 am

    I picked up a 29 ounce bag of 13 bean soup mix on sale some months ago. Every time I saw it in my pantry, I could only think, “now what do I do with this?” Your recipe is just what I want, since our local produce season is mostly over. Thanks, Robin.

  • Carole October 16, 2012, 10:07 pm

    I made this soup tonight. My husband and I liked it a lot, with crusty whole grain bread and a salad. It even looked like your photograph! It does make a lot of soup, and you do need a 6-quart crock pot to make it. I plan to freeze some of it for a day that’s too busy for cooking. Hope you include this recipe in a future cookbook!

  • Corrin Radd November 6, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Made this and it was delicious, thanks!

  • Nichole M. November 8, 2012, 8:19 pm

    Just fixed this tonight in a pressure cooker and it was fantastic! I did add a diced red pepper, mushrooms and substituted regular pasta sauce for the marinara. I threw in the extra liquid and rice into the pot (cooking it all at once) and pressure cooked at 11 psi for 45 minutes. Makes a ton of soup so we have some good leftovers for the weekend and even to freeze for a lazy day! Thanks so much, looking forward to trying out some of your other recipes!!

    • Velester April 1, 2017, 5:21 am

      Some very good would love to make this recipe &try it out.

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