Not your average bean soup recipe! This one pot Mediterranean bean soup is loaded with nutrition, texture and flavor from warm spices, aromatic, and a bright tomato pesto. Vegetarian. Gluten Free. Great to make ahead and freeze (see notes.)
5cupslow sodium vegetable broth,or broth of your choice
8-ozfrozen spinach, no need to thaw
15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-ozcan cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz can chickpeas, drained
Basil leaves for garnishoptional
⅓cuptoasted pine nuts for garnishoptional
For Tomato Pesto Sauce
2-3large garlic cloves,you can start with less garlic if you're not sure
1 ½cupdiced fresh tomatoes
15-20large basil leaves
½cupPrivate Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
⅓cupgrated Parmesan cheese
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the diced potatoes and onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, tossing regularly.
Add the canned diced tomatoes, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes.
Uncover, add the vegetable broth and frozen spinach. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 4 minutes or so. Add the kidney beans, cannellini beans, and chickpeas. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (potatoes should be tender at this point).
While the soup is cooking, make the tomato pesto. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, place the garlic and fresh tomatoes. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the basil and puree. While the processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil a little bit at a time. Transfer the thick tomato pesto to a bowl, and stir in the grated Parmesan.
When the soup is ready, remove from heat. Stir in the tomato pesto.
Transfer to serving bowls. Top each bowl with a few basil leaves and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy with your favorite crusty bread!
Leftovers & Storage: This soup is great to serve a crowd for dinner or you can meal prep it for several lunches. To store leftovers, use glass containers with a tight lid and refrigerate for 2 to 4 days. You can also freeze cooked bean soup in portions. Thaw overnight in the fridge and heat stovetop over medium heat, stirring often.
To Use Dry Beans in Place of Canned: You can make this bean salad using dry beans. Budget enough time to start at the least the night before you need to make the bean soup recipe. To make this bean soup with dry beans, you will start with ¾ cups dry beans in place of each 15-ounce can of beans. You must soak each kind of beans in a large bowl with plenty of water (water to cover the beans by 3 inches.) They will nearly triple in size while soaking. Discard soaking water before cooking.
Cook each kind of beans separately. In a cooking pot, add beans and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours.Drain any cooking water and proceed with the bean soup recipe as written. You can also store the cooked beans in the fridge in a tight-lid glass container for 2 days or before making the bean soup (keep in mind, this changes how long you can eat the leftovers if refrigerated. But you can certainly still freeze and use at a later time.)