in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

Creamy Vegan Navy Bean & Tomato Vegetable Soup

Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere. Albert Einstein

As I sit here and write this today it is surely almost impossible to believe that this year is quickly and surely coming almost to a close. Here I am, on the morning of yet another Halloween, and while I’m not a huge Halloween fan (never have been), I can’t help but look back fondly at all the years of costumes and pumpkin carving that has flown by just way, way, way too quickly.

So quickly in fact that I’ve one child that won’t be heading out at all tonight for the old trick or treating routine, as she is officially too old to even bother with these things, and another who has graduated to trick or treating with good friends and their ever-so-gracious-and-more-keen-than-I mom’s and dad’s (I cannot tell you how grateful I am to them but in a way a little sad to not be heading out!).  Regardless of how you might regard this time of year, it’s always been a mess of this scary stuff and an uber-important pending birthday for me: the birthday of my first-born who turns 16 whole years old this year. Now how’s that for time passing, hey?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have all the respect in the world for folks who really get into Halloween, and I don’t mean to be a downer at all, but well, I guess I just don’t get it (in all honesty as always!)? But then I’m not much of a ‘dresser-upper’ in general (please just throw me a good pair of boots and my favourite jeans) and I always prefer to be me through and through and through. So much so that getting into any other character just kind of well, seems like a whole lot of work, and trust me I’ve got enough of that to keep me just busy enough! I might just sneak out for a walk on my own tonight to smell the sights & sounds of the craziness that will be going on all around me, because that’s definitely something I think I can get into. Just because I don’t dress up doesn’t mean I can’t still snack on a few bites of those super sugary treats until they all meld together to taste exactly the same. Ah, Halloween…

Are you a Halloween lover or leaver? I’d love to know if I’m not alone!

Today’s soup is perfect for a fall night like tonight, when you need something warm in the tummy quickly before heading outside. A one pot affair, this easy creamy totally vegan soup is soothing, delicious and totally filling. It’s super low in fat and could be totally oil free if you chose to omit the oil in the veggie cooking process. Cooking the beans from scratch is recommended to save money and increase the freshness quotient, but of course you just sometimes can’t beat the convenience of canned, in which case go to town. No one over here will judge! Leftovers are stored easily for up to a week or more and taste better and better as time goes on.

Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you all have a great end of the month, no matter if you are dressed up or not 🙂

Creamy Vegan Navy Bean & Tomato Vegetable Soup:

(1) cup Navy beans of Great Northern Beans dry, or 2 cups cooked white beans of choice
(2) tbsp olive oil or other quality vegetable oil
(1 ) large leek, cleaned and chopped, roughly 3-4 cups
(3) medium carrots, peeled & chopped
(1) tbsp salt
(2-4) cloves of garlic, minced
(1) 398 ml can diced tomatoes
(1) small can of tomato paste
(4) cups water or vegetable broth
(3) tbsp honey, or any plant-based sweetener such as agave
(1) tbsp dried dill
(2) cups minced green kale
Optional garnishes of olive oil, feta (or a vegan substitute), parsley & plenty of black pepper for garnish

If you are starting with dry beans, simply put them up to soak in plenty of cold water in a bowl on the counter for at least 6 hours, until they are well plumped up. To cook, simply drain and rinse the soaked beans and put in a large pot with 3 times the volume of more cold water. Bring the water to boiling and turn down once boiling to maintain a nice rolling boil. You can set the lid halfway onto the pot and cook the beans this way for about an hour, until nice and soft (cooking time will depend on the variety of beans but I find the smaller white ones cook quickly and larger cannellini beans can take up to 90 minutes). Drain the beans when done and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready to use.

To prepare the veggies, simply rinse and cut the leek in half. Separate the layers roughly with your hands and chop the leek pieces horizontally into pieces. To clean the pieces, place them in a large bowl and cover them with water, putting your hands in the bowl to agitate the layers and loosen any dirt that may be stuck in the leek. Skim the leek pieces out of the water and place into a colander. Repeat this again until the rinse water no longer shows signs of dirt.

Prepare the carrots & when the two veggies are ready, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots & all the salt and cook for about 5 -8 minutes, until the moisture from the leeks starts to escape. Add the minced garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water & dill and mix until the paste is fully dissolved. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and allow the veggies to cook about 15 minutes until just soft.

Next, add the honey, kale & cooked beans and mix all to incorporate. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted. For a creamy soup, puree about 2/3 of the mixture in a blender or in a separate pot with a hand blender, leaving 1/3 of the mixture chunky. If blended well, this soup will be silky & creamy dreamy. Combine the two back together and continue to heat on low to allow all the flavours to mingle for a final few minutes.

Ladle into large cups or soup bowls and enjoy drizzled with additional olive oil or topped with a pat of butter. This soup loves a little extra fresh herbs or even a chunk or two of feta or parmesan cheese on top. The sky is the limit here, but the goal is to warm your bones and soothe the tummy with easy blended nourishment. Nothing to be afraid of here, just a few ‘less’ ingredients that make up a whole lot of delicious more.


45 responses to “Creamy Vegan Navy Bean & Tomato Vegetable Soup

  1. That is one beautiful bowlful Shira!!! Navy beans are SO good in soup…I think we should rename them so as to sound as good as they are. Anyway, delicious soup here!!

  2. We’re getting there too, only the youngest are interested in trick or treating now and my mindset this year is to just get through the mayhem.

    That is a gorgeous soup, thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh my heavens, that is one gorgeous bowl of soup! I love tomatoey soups so this one is going on the roster for this winter!

    I am not a huge Halloween fan either. I liked it when I was a kid but it has never been my favorite holiday. I do like seeing the twins get dressed up, though one of them has decided he’s not into it this year so only one is getting dressed up. 🙂

  4. You’re right…that soup is just the thing to yumfully warm up, especially after raking leaves! I do love Halloween mostly because it’s so creative and it’s always really fun to see what people will come up with for costumes and for treats. I haven’t always dressed up, but I’ve always had boatloads of fun…oh those State Street Halloween memories were always a blur but a happy blur. 😉
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Cheers and Happy Halloween!

    1. Thank you! Love the picture you just painted about Halloween. Hard not to love everything you just described actually 😉

  5. I’m not a Halloween LOVER, but since I have small kids, it’s kinda a big deal around here. I don’t go crazy on decorations, especially on our tight budget, but we do dress the place up with some pumpkins.

    It’s still quite hot here, but I imagine where you are it’s feeling very autumn-ish. Please enjoy the crisp fall weather for me–It’s nothing but hot & humid here!

  6. I absolutely love coming up with costume ideas, planning them out, and putting together the costume. But once I’m actually dressed in my Halloween finest, I’m usually ready to put my regular clothes back on within an hour or two. So I guess I really like the planning and creative process that goes into Halloween, but I could take or leave the actual dressing up part.

    1. This is perfect Katie, love that you are imaginative — and awesome that that is the part you love about it! I wish I felt that way about my kids costumes!

  7. mmmm this soup looks amazing Shira. I wish I could curl up with a big bowl of that and a book right now 😉

    I am definitely into Halloween- I think it’s so fun to have an excuse to be a kid again. Like playing dress up! I don’t always have the best costume but it’s fun nonetheless. This year I went as Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. I felt so badass! 😉

  8. This soup does look really good, but it is definitely not Vegan. Omit the butter, feta, and honey to make it Vegan. There are a lot of vegan feta recipes on line; I use maple syrup instead of honey, and olive oil instead of the butter.

    1. Thanks Valerie for pointing that out! I’ve adjusted the honey to include a plant-based option as a possibility, and of course the feta is 100% optional.

  9. Thank you Shira for sharing such a good soup recipie!!! Just made it and my husband and I felt in love with it. I really enjoy your website. The way you explain things and the beautifull pictures you add makes it easy and fun to travel in it (I hope my english is correct because I speak french, so excuse me if I make mistake in my writting…)

    Tanks again.
    Lucie 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for this soup recipe. My husband loved it! I’m sure he will be having me make it once again since the days are getting cooler and soup is always on his mind. ha-ha I hope you don’t mind but I did add a link to this recipe on my own blog so others could try this recipe too. Hopefully it brings in a little of Genki Kitty Blog Lovin to your site for this recipe. 🙂

  11. This soup recipe looks amazing! Huge fan of making homemade soups especially with dried beans of almost any kind. Question. Based upon your recipe, how much does this serve? Can you double the ratio to increase serving size or will it screw up the taste?

  12. Shira,
    I prepared this dish last night. Wonderful. I had a bowl for lunch today. It gets better. Enough flavor notes to be complex while being a simple dish. I’m now a fan!! Thank you.

  13. I used this recipe as a base today. I didn’t have any kale so I used frozen spinach. I also added coconut milk for an extra flavor dimension. I also added turmeric, cayenne pepper and cumin. Delicious.

  14. This soup recipe looks very tasty. I am a huge fan of making homemade soups especially with dried beans of almost any kind. My brother loved it so much. He always eat it when he felt very hungry. Thanks for sharing .

  15. Good afternoon, Shira.

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the Vegan Navy Bean & Tomato Vegetable soup recipe. After my wife-to-be passed it along to me, it has become a favorite and a part of my regular rotation during the fall & winter months. I make it once every two weeks or so and often pass the recipe off to friends after they try mine.

    I am wanting to make it next week for a potluck and was hoping you could help me calculate the recipe for 35-40 people? I’ve never made such a large amount and want to do it justice.

    Should I just triple the recipe? Does that sound right? Any pointers?

    Any help would be very much appreciated and I do hope to hear back from you soon.

    1. Wonderful Jon, I am so glad you like the soup! 🙂 Thank you for the kind comment! I might make 4-5 times the recipe if you are making for that much, but I am always afraid of not having enough food for people! I would just watch the salt and ensure you have enough!

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