From Too Many Chefs -

March 15, 2007
7 Bean Soup from 10 cans

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Self, we need to make a full freaking gallon of soup that'll be hearty, delicious, and vegetarian. And we need to do it lickety split."? No? Really? Well it can be done, and I'm here to show you how to do it. This is a great soup to make if your intent is to have some now, and freeze a lot for later.

I use canned beans for this soup because I find them more convenient that the dried beans. If you're looking for the cheapest possible recipe, you could use dried beans, pick over them looking for dirt and rocks and shrunken children from a Rick Moranis movie, then boil the beans forever to get them tender. I find canned beans to be much much easier to deal with, though they do cost a little bit more and are heavy to carry home if you're not driving.

Yes, there are many who will decry the use of canned foods. Well, please feel free to grow ad pick the beans for this recipe yourself, but with the addition of some fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, onions), canned beans wok wonderfully here.

The soup I present here has an Italianate seasoning scheme. You could easily adjust the herbs or substitute wine in for the sauce or add peppers to change the flavors. No matter what you do, adding a little epazote at the beginning or Beano at the end will help cut down on the gassiferous (is that a word?) tendencies of the beans.

I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos in this recipe, but you can substitute a low sodium soy sauce. I like the flavor of Bragg's better, and encourage you to give it a try.

My wife the Redhead suggests adding some bulgar to this recipe, which I may do next time, but we both also enjoy the soup as is.

7 Bean Soup from 10 Cans
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
1 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

One 15.5-oz can each ( I believe I used Goya for all) of:
pinto beans
black beans
small white beans
blackeyed peas
pigeon peas (find in Mexican ethnic grocery stores)
dark red kidney beans

2 14-oz cans of Vegetable Broth (I used Swanson's clear, which is a little salty, but cheap, cheap, cheap)

1 28 ounce can of fire roasted plum tomatoes (Muir Glen, in my case)

2 tablespoons dried oregano (yep, that's a lot of oregano, but you have a GALLON of soup here, for Pete's sake)
1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos or light soy sauce or to taste

In a LARGE stock pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sautée for three-five minutes until everything starts to soften.

Mash up the canned tomatoes then add them to the oil and vegetables. Add the beans, without draining and stir to combine well. Add the stock, oregano, and Bragg's (or soy sauce) and stir well again.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for 30 minutes before serving, stirring occasionally. Recipe makes a little over 1.25 gallons of soup. Eat what you like, freeze the rest - it microwaves well in small containers for lunch. Good with oyster crackers or crusty bread for dipping.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at March 15, 2007 7:30 AM

A couple times every winter my dad makes a VAT of vegetable soup. He starts with stock, adds can after can of beans, then loads in the veggies, rice, noodles and whatever else is on-hand. And we literally live off of it for weeks. It's a fantastic skill to have!

Posted by Max on March 22, 2007 at 12:47 PM

my best pantry-friendly vegan stew is as follows (one can of each): canned potatoes (drained), canned lentils (drained), canned tomato sauce (not spagetti sauce) and a can of vegetarian chili. I've even given it to friends, like a kit in a gift basket....yummers-in-a-can

Posted by ida on April 5, 2007 at 12:50 PM

I'm all for veg bean soups - they're easy to make and really accessible for non-vegetarians at the table. For what it's worth (and at the risk of coming off as tacky and self-promoting), we've done some calculations to figure out the environmental impact of black bean soup and veg. chili at

Bernard Brown

Posted by Bernard Brown on April 7, 2007 at 8:12 AM

I rather enjoy this soup, a minestrone-style soup without the pasta.

I use the recipe to make a 15-bean soup. Dried beans aren't all that hard to make, though they make this soup less of a quick soup and more of a "everyone is coming over tomorrow" soup, because the way dried beans become eay is through the "pre-soak".

Wash the beans. Toss all the beans into a large container, one capable of fitting into your refrigerator (a one-gallon zip-lock bag will do as well). Fill the container or bag with water (imagine the beans twice as big and fill to that level), and seal the container with a lid or plastic wrap, or just close the bag. Soak overnight in the fridge (about 12-16 hours, though 24 hours is fine a well).

Drain the soaking water and toss into a pot with more water (such as the broth called for in the recipe) for cooking. Generally it will take just one more hour of cooking to cook most beans, though you may have to cook an hour and a half.

If you'd like a quick-cooking dry beans soup, you can make a three-bean variety using the no-pre-soak beans: lentils, green split peas, and yellow split peas. These generally cook up only slightly slower than canned beans.

Posted by Leo Mauler on February 11, 2010 at 8:00 PM

So pleased that I found your recipe! I was, in fact, asked to cook up enough hearty vegetarian soup to feed 15-20 people on short notice, and this did the trick!

Posted by Tanya Bilsbury on April 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM