Lately, I am finding myself drawn to movies all with a common theme….sunshine, blue skies, tropical backdrops, swimsuit clad actors on warm beaches. Are you getting the picture? It is bitterly cold in my neck of the woods this week. I’m looking for any way to feel just a little warmth. From November until April I’m usually a two layer girl (tee, heavy sweater), but this week has me wearing three and contemplating a fourth. I don’t think I’ll defrost until May. Seriously.

rustic bean soup

In my attempt to warm up, tea, hot cocoa and soup have been on heavy rotation. That includes this rustic, bean soup. Don’t panic when you see the list of spices and herbs. There are 9 to be exact, but they are not unusual. In fact, you probably already have most of them in your pantry. As you add the dried herbs (excluding bay leaf) to the soup pot be sure to crush them between the palms of your hands. This will help release their oils, flavoring the soup even more.



rustic bean soup

Rustic Bean Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 - 28 ounce can tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 - 15 ounce can (2 cups) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 15 ounce can (2 cups) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 15 ounce can (2 cups) Navy beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add in onions, green pepper and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, stir occasionally to keep garlic from burning. Add in herbs and spices. Stir for about 20 seconds, until seasonings are fragrant. Pour in vegetable broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

rustic bean soup

Occasionally, when I make this soup, I’ll throw in a parmesan rind as it simmers away on the stove. It adds a whole other layer of flavor and heartiness.

Have a wonderful weekend…make the most of it!


9 Responses to Rustic Bean Soup

  1. holly says:


    • Alison says:

      Holly–Click on the ‘printer’ icon. That will take you to another window that will allow you to print or email the recipe link to your address.

  2. Alyssa says:

    This warms me just looking at it! YUM!!! So my non-tomato loving husband can’t stand ANY chunks — do you think I could swap out a can of tomato sauce without changing things too much? (And I’m with you on the layers — yesterday, I had a t-shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a wrap sweater, and scarf. I was SO COLD!)

    • Alison says:

      Alyssa–I think subbing tomato juice would work just fine. It’s important to keep those husbands happy. 😉 Thank goodness for layers, right?

  3. Claire says:

    Ooh, I’ve never thought of adding a parmesan rind to my soup. What a splendid thought! This soup looks hearty and fantastic. Well done again, Alison. Well done.

  4. Mmm, this looks fantastic. I could really go for some of this, it’s been so warm here up until this week and now it’s so cold. Perfect weather for a soup like this. The combination of spices sound so interesting, I’m curious to try this out :)

  5. Ashley says:

    Absolutely delicious. I didn’t know it would make enough to feed an army!! Haha, I will be having left overs for a while. Does it freeze well? Anyways, I really enjoyed it and it was so simple to make, thanks much

    • Alison says:

      That’s great to hear Ashley! It freezes very well, so go ahead and put some back for another day. :)

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