This delicious comforting seven bean stew features a medley of dried lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, kidney beans and black beans. A hearty and down right delicious stew this time of year. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Due to positive and valuable reader feedback, the name of this recipe has been updated to a 'stew' rather than a soup. The text has also been updated to include helpful tips and instructions.
Comforting Seven Bean Stew
It's been very cold here on the Island which makes me crave soups and stews day in and day out, especially when I'm on the mend. Stew always makes me feel so good.
This simple recipe is made with a blend of dried beans which I found stashed in the back of our pantry. Good thing dried beans last a while. Beans are high in fiber and are a god source of plant-based protein. I include beans and legumes in my diet every single day.
Cooked beans make up the bulk of the stew which is hearty and down right comforting this time of year. Soaking time aside, this recipe comes together nicely and makes for a filling lunch or dinner with a piece of crusty bread; I have a love affair with the "bread mop" technique...what better way to enjoy it!
A Medley of 7 Beans
This comforting 7 bean stew features a hearty mix of the several dried beans noted below. However, you can use any type of dried beans you like. Below, I also share notes on replacing dried beans with canned beans.
- brown lentils
- pinto beans
- navy beans
- black eyed peas
- red lentils
- kidney beans
- black beans
This comforting 7 bean soup recipe is
- Gluten free
- Hearty and delicious
- Easy to make
- High in fiber
- Contains a 7 bean variety
There is very little oil in this recipe, and you could actually eliminate it all together if you wanted. If you use low sodium broth and tomatoes, you can eliminate a lot of the sodium, if you are concerned about that.
I typically use low sodium versions when a recipe need something from a can or package. To compensate (because I love salt) I sometimes add fresh Celtic sea salt right after cooking time is up; so good!
A note about vegetable stock, tomato paste & gluten
Most vegetable stocks are gluten-free, unlike beef and chicken stock. However, be sure to check the label on your particular brand of stock or bouillon to make sure it is gluten-free. The same goes for tomato paste.
Notes about using dried beans
I prefer to cook my own beans rather than rely on canned ones. The main reason being price- It doesn't get any cheaper than dried beans. While you do have to invest some time in soaking the beans overnight, it's worth the effort.
Dried beans also last quite a long time. However, they certainly don't last forever; very old dried beans will never cook properly and you'll end up with a hard indigestible stew.Â EDIT: I have read that if you live in a place with hard water, that can also interfere with the beans softening up. As such, a small amount of baking soda will adjust the pH of the water and will help with softening the beans.
As such, be sure to source dried beans in your bulk section that are frequently refreshed. Alternatively, you can buy packaged dried beans, but check the best before date to make sure they're not older than a year.
If you want some great information on the benefits of soaking beans and how to do it, I like to refer to this article.
Using canned beans for this recipe
If you are short on time, or forget to pre-soak the beans, canned will also work. If you prefer to used canned beans, be sure to reduce the simmering time to 15-20 minutes max.
You may not be able to find all varieties of canned beans. As such, you can purchase a few varieties you like. Kidney beans, black beans, navy beans and lentils are fairly easy to find at your local grocer.
As well, you will need to triple the measurement of beans. Dried beans typically bulk up 2-3 times their size once soaked. Therefore, use 3 cups of your favourite canned beans for this recipe.
Helpful tips for making the perfect Seven Bean Stew
- Don't boil the beans too much. Boiling can cause them to fall apart.
- Source fresh dried beans - again, dried bean older than a year will take much longer to cook and may never soften up.
- Cook the beans just until tender. Over cooking will also result in the beans turning to mush.
- For gluten sensitivities or intolerance, make sure you use a gluten-free vegetable stock and tomato paste for this recipe.
Want more comfort food this season?
If you love this vegan seven bean stew, check out some of my other favourite soup and stew recipes below:
COMFORTING SEVEN BEAN STEW [vegan & gluten-free]
A hearty and comforting meal on any chilly day. This seven bean soup is high in fiber, contains plant-based protein and is vegan and gluten-free. This recipe can also be made with canned beans (see notes for details on the exchange).
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 cup dried 7 bean mix or a mix of dried green lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, red lentils, kidney beans and black beans
- 4 cups vegetable Stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp chili powder
- salt + pepper to taste
- chopped parsley for garnish
Soak the dried bean mix in cold water for at least 12 hours. Drain and rinse the beans well. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and onion, celery and garlic and cook until onion and celery become translucent. Add in soaked beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, stock, and water.
Bring mixture to boil and reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 90 minutes or until the beans and fully cooked and softened.
Season with salt, pepper and garnish with fresh diced parsley. Serve with a side of warm, crusty bread.
If you prefer to used canned beans for this recipe, use 3 cups of your favourite canned beans instead of 1 cup dried beans. Also, reduce the simmering time to 15-20 minutes max.
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