Bean soup is a hearty, nutritious meal that fits perfectly into a balanced diet. Packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and essential vitamins, it’s an excellent choice for home cooks, vegetarians, and anyone looking to eat healthily. Let's dive into how you can make your own delicious pot of bean soup from scratch!

bean soup

Ingredients Overview

For the best results, use fresh, organic produce whenever possible. Here’s what you’ll need:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried beans (e.g., navy, black, pinto, or a mix)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Add-ins:

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika for a smoky flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for heat
  • 1 cup kale or spinach for extra greens
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk for creaminess

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Beans


  • Rinse 1 cup of dried beans under cold water to remove any debris.
  • Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 3-4 inches of water. Let soak overnight (8-12 hours).
  • For a quicker option, use the quick-soak method: Boil beans in water for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour.


  • After soaking, drain and rinse the beans.
  • Place beans in a large pot, cover with fresh water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender (approximately 45-60 minutes). Drain and set aside.

2. Making the Soup Base


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes until vegetables are softened.
  • Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Building Flavor:

  • Pour in the can of diced tomatoes with their juice, stirring to combine.
  • Add the cooked beans and pour in 6 cups of vegetable broth.
  • Drop in the bay leaf and sprinkle with dried thyme.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Simmering the Soup

  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, allowing flavors to meld together.
  • Stir occasionally and adjust seasoning as needed.

4. Optional Add-ins and Variations

Customize your bean soup to suit your taste preferences:

  • Smoky Flavor: Add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika during the sautéing process.
  • Spicy Kick: Include 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  • Extra Greens: Stir in 1 cup of chopped kale or spinach during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Creamy Texture: Pour in 1/2 cup of coconut milk just before serving.

5. Serving Suggestions and Storage

Serve your bean soup hot, garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Pair it with crusty bread for a complete meal.

Storing Leftovers:

  • Allow soup to cool to room temperature.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze in portion-sized containers for up to 3 months.


Bean soup is a versatile and healthy dish that’s easy to customize and perfect for any meal. By following these steps, you’ll create a delicious soup that’s sure to become a favorite in your household. So, gather your ingredients, and let’s get cooking!

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