This vegan bean soup recipe is my version of traditional Tuscan escarole and bean soup, but with a spicy twist. The heat of the soup can vary depending on how hot the peppers are. Not only are hot peppers delicious, the capsaicin contained in hot peppers is anti-inflammatory, controls insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels, among other benefits. Three cheers to capsaicin! Garnish with a dollop of plant-based yogurt or sour cream to mellow out the flavors.
This is another one of those recipes that’s super fast and easy to prepare, even on a work night. This recipe is low-cal, so consider serving with your choice of flatbread/bread and salad. Do you have omnivore’s in the family? You may be interested in the “optional omnivore variations” described below the recipe card.
If you can’t source escarole, you can substitute with curly endive; they are both from the same chicory family of greens. You can use cannellini beans, red kidney beans, or a combination of both. I use canned beans to make this recipe come together quickly, but feel free to start with dry beans. Dry beans need to be soaked overnight in plenty of water, drained, rinsed, and cooked – before they are recipe ready.
- Briefly saute veggies
- Add broth and beans; simmer briefly
- Garnish with yogurt or sour cream
Vegan Bean Soup
- soup pot
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped
- 2 poblano peppers, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped
- 2 Anaheim chili peppers (or other mild or hot chilis), seeds and stems removed, diced
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 medium-small head of escarole trimmed, chopped well
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 14-ounce cans white and/or red kidney beans, drain most, but not all, of the liquid
- 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 6 dollops plant-based yogurt (such as Forager brand), optional
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat with a bit of the onion. When the onion begins to sizzle, add the rest of the onion, jalapeños, poblanos, Anaheim peppers, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the escarole, salt, peppers, paprika, cumin, and oregano. Cook, while stirring, for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the broth and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Garnish each bowl with a dollop of yogurt.
- This soup also tastes great when served with spinach. Simply add a handful of chopped or baby spinach to your bowl, then ladle the hot soup over top.
- The pepper seeds contain the most heat. If you would like your soup to be especially hot, leave some of the hot pepper seeds.
- I suggest wearing gloves when working with jalapeños or any hot peppers.
- If you use salt-free canned beans, such as Eden brand, you may want to add more salt to this soup. After it is prepared, taste and adjust as needed.
Optional Omnivore Variations
- Serve with grated cheese such as pecorino Romano or parmesan
- Add bits or slices of cooked sausage to the omnivore’s bowls.