Spicy Seven-Bean Soup


  • 1/4 cup each of dried: baby limas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, small white or navy beans, pinto beans, and red beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T. sugar
  •  1 T. dried basil
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 T. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

How to make the soup:
Sort through the beans, discarding the discolored ones. Put beans in a bowl, add cold water to cover and soak in the refrigerator overnight.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, bell pepper, onion, celery, carrot and pepper flakes. Saute until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans and stir them into the pot along with stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, vinegar, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender about 2-2 1/2 hours.

Just before serving, discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in parsley or cilantro. Ladle into bowls. Serves 6-8 and freezes well.

Croatian Sour Soup

SERVES 4 to 6 from Sundays at the Moosewood

• 1 med potato, diced
• 1 c diced onions
• 1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
• 2 tbs vegetable oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1 sm parsnip, diced
• 1 celery stalk, chopped
• 2 tbs whole wheat pastry flour or -unbleached white flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbs cider vinegar
• 5 c vegetable stock, heated
• 1/2 c sauerkraut

• sour cream (optional)
• minced chives (optional)

How to make the soup:
Simmer potato in salted water until tender but firm. Drain and set aside, covered.
Saute the onions and paprika in the oil, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes more.
Mix in the fennel, bay leaf, carrots, parsnips, and celery, saute for 5 minutes, stirring.
Sift the flour into the vegetables and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, stirring.
Add the salt, black pepper, vinegar, and vegetable stock.

Simmer for 10 minutes then stir in the potatoes and sauerkraut.
Garnish each bowl with sour cream or chives, serve with black bread or marbled rye.

Pistou Soup

Adapted from this great soup cookbook: A Good Day for Soup by Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer. San Francisco: Chronicle, 1996.

Pistou Soup
• 6 c. water stock
• 3 cubes of Knorr vegetarian bullion
• 2 carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 leek
• 1 baking potato, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil
• 1 medium turnip, diced
• 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut in half
• 1 c. cooked small white beans
• 1/2 c. very small pasta
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 3 cloves garlic peeled
• 4 T. pine nuts, toasted
• 2 c fresh basil leaves
• 6 sun-dried tomatoes dry or in oil
• 1/2 t. thyme
• 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
• 1/3 c. olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Top with
• Freshly squeezed lime juice

To make the Pistou:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until a thick paste is formed.

To make the soup:
1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the bullion, carrots, celery, leek, potato, tomatoes and turnip and simmer for 30 min.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer another 10 minutes.

To serve:
1. Place a dollop of the pistou in each bowl. Ladle soup over the pistou.

Serves 8