Clean – Tomato Vegetable Bean Soup

BY NANCY HALA

When you clean something out, you’re careful about what you put back into it. You purge a room of clutter, and you’re more thoughtful about what you put on the table the next time you walk through. You dump your purse and sweep out the Kleenex and pennies, and then you carefully fill it with only those things you want to carry around with you all day. The same is true for your body. You cleanse it, and then you find yourself being mindful and precise about what goes back in.

I’m a few weeks out of the desert and still feeling the “wow” of my week-long fast and detox. I only want to fill my body with things that are clean and pure. My go-to clean food has always been soup. Specifically, my tomato vegetable bean soup.

When I dove into plant-based eating a few years ago, this was the first vegan recipe I invented. I love it because it’s warm and hearty and full of vegetables. The beans add texture and protein. The nutritional yeast (one of my favorite ingredients) adds a rich buttery flavor. The greens, whether you use kale or spinach, make you feel like you’re eating a bowl of health. It fills you up without weighing you down.

I have passed this recipe along to friends and family – herbivores and carnivores alike – who all make it over and over again, because it’s delicious, simple and fast. You can toss the whole pot together in 20 minutes or so (depending on how fast you chop veg!) and then cook it up in about an hour.

For everyone leaning into clean eating, this soup should be your first stop. Enjoy.

Tomato Vegetable Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cubed sweet potato
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (that’s 2 boxes of low sodium organic broth, or you can use homemade broth)
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (blended first so that there are no chunks, or just use pureed)
  • 1 can navy or cannellini beans (about 1.5 cups), drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 to 5 cups (two big handfuls) chopped kale (stems removed) or spinach
  • Kosher or sea salt, and fresh pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in a big pot, with a about ½ cup of water – simmer until they soften, about 10 minutes,   adding more water when needed to keep them from sticking to the pot.

Add the zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, sweet potatoes, garlic, broth and tomato puree. Stir. Add salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes.

Add the beans and nutritional yeast, stir and cook for another 20 minutes.

Add the kale or spinach, stir and cook for about 10 more minutes.

Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.

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NANCY HALA

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