Food

Greek Style Bean Soup

Every week we try to have at least 1 veggie only meal.  Not just a bunch of vegetables on a plate – that’s just boring & maybe even lazy (unless of course it’s a side dish for Friday night wings). We want fun (kids like fun food), delicious & (hopefully) easy food.  But it can be hard coming up with different dishes every week.  Honestly, most of the time I don’t; we find some things that we really love (usually something stuffed) & eat them over & over until we get tired of it.  Then I try to come up with something new.

One thing that’s pretty easy is soup.  For most recipes you can just leave out the meat.  I say most because for some (meatball & chicken anything for example), the meat makes the soup – it would be pointless to leave it out.

The absolute easiest vegetarian option – bean soups! Lentil soup is 1 of my family’s faves but here’s 1 that we have only had out in restaurants until now.

It’s Greek style bean soup & it’s loaded with veg, protein, & flavor.

Ingredients:

1 cup garbanzo beans

1 cup navy beans

1/2 cup black eyed peas

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T tomato paste (or 1/4 cup smashed diced tomatoes)

olive oil

paprika

turmeric (optional)

oregano (fresh or dried)

salt & pepper

The Process:

Soak the beans as you normally would (quick soak or overnight soak) then rinse as usual.

In a large pot, add enough olive to coat the bottom.  Saute the carrots, celery, onions, & garlic until slightly tender – 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste (or smashed tomatoes).  Cook another minute or 2.  Season with salt & pepper.  Taste it!

Add the soaked & drained navy & garbanzo beans.  DO NOT add the black eyed peas yet.

Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the beans begin to soften.  Then add the black eyed peas & continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are all fork tender but NOT mushy.

Taste it again.  Add about a teaspoon each of paprika, turmeric & oregano, and salt & pepper to taste.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil (no more than a tablespoon for the whole pot) & serve it up!

 

Tips:

  1. Black eyed peas aren’t traditionally a Greek thing, I just like the flavor. You can leave them out without substituting another ingredient.
  2. Black eyed peas cook faster than navy & garbanzo beans.  If you add them at the same time, the texture will be mushy.  Mushy ≠ delicious.
  3. The tomato paste is meant to help thicken the soup, so I would NOT suggest using tomato sauce or the juice from canned diced tomatoes.  If that’s all you have, then mix it with a little corn starch first.
  4. Turmeric is not needed – it doesn’t affect the flavor much but is great for color & nutrition.  And it’s 1 of my new faves!  “I put that ish on everything!”

This is another one of those recipes that’s good for cleansing or going vegetarian.  It’s good for you & like most soups, stews, & casseroles, it’s even better the next day.  It’s also freezable.

Give it a try.  Have it with some crusty bread & olive tapenade (or just olives) if you like.  If you do, let me know how it goes.

Until then…

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