Happy New Year; I hope your holiday was restful and that the new year finds you in good health and spirits. We spent the entire holiday under the weather, but thankfully, we are all on the mend and returning to our regular pace after the holidays. It is 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; I had forgotten about them until spending some time rearranging the pantry last week. Good thing dried beans last a while. The last time I remember seeing them was about 6 years ago when Steve and I first met. He made me a noodle soup with this same bean mix…actually, come to think of it, I was nursing a cold when he served it to me. Turns out this mix likes to come out when I’m not feeling well. And I’m ok with that.
Anyway, this comforting seven bean stew features a medley of dried lentils, pinto beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, red lentils, kidney beans and black beans which have been soaked overnight. They 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!
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 most 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 add fresh Celtic sea salt right after cooking time is up; so good! Celtic sea salt contains so many more minerals than traditional sea salt or table salt which I rarely use, if ever.
Anyway, I won’t keep you too long, as my son is waking from his nap and will no doubt be seeking my undivided attention. Plus, were long overdue for a winter hike now that we’re all feeling better.
I hope you enjoy this gluten-free and totally plant-based recipe and make it for your family and friends (or even just for yourself). It freezes well and will get better the second and third day.
[Notes- due to positive and valuable reader feedback, the name of this recipe has been updated to a ‘stew’ rather than a soup]
COMFORTING SEVEN BEAN STEW
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 Medium 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 Cup Water
- 1-28 oz Can Organic Diced Tomatoes
- 3 TBSP Tomato Paste
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish
Soak the beans 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 for 90 minutes or until the beans and fully cooked and softened, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt, pepper and garnish with fresh diced parsley. Serve with a side of warm, crusty bread.
Pre-soaking dried beans does take time, but with a little pre-planning, it's very easy to enjoy them in your day. If you prefer to used canned, feel free, but be sure to reduce the simmering time to 15-20 minutes max. I highly recommend using dried beans for their price point and taste; they're easy to keep on hand and I almost always have a pot of lentils or beans soaking on the stove for the easy meal prep.
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