Spicy Bean Soup

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 45 min


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juices

1 (11 1/2-ounce) can tomato juice

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind, optional

2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup dried green lentils

3 cups broccoli florets

2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds

2 yellow crookneck squash, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato juice, tomato paste, cheese rind, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the broth, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and lentils. Stir in the broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season the stew to taste with more salt, if desired.
  2. Ladle the stew into bowls. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and basil, and serve.
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165 Reviews


The recipe is excellent, with one modification. Scale back the chili powder! The first time I made the soup, I used all fresh ingredients and when I saw the quantity of chili powder, I thought it was a mistake. I used 1 tablespoon for my first batch, 2 for my second batch and 3 for my third batch. There are 8 tablespoons to a half a cup. My recommendation is no more than three. The result is a rich stew with delightful flavors from the other ingredients. It is still spicy, but not so much that it overpowers everything else. Also, don't skimp on the vegetables, use fresh whenever you can. I've already made this soup 3 times and it is part of our weekly menu. Enjoy.

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