Chunky Hearty Three-Bean Soup

Hearty Three-Bean Soup

Our favorite soup, adapted from the original recipe titled “Recipe for Health: Hearty Three-Bean Soup”, printed in a magazine from a local hospital. True to its name, it is very hearty, full of flavor, and chunky with lots of the good stuff! We’ve made it many times, adjusting  the seasonings to suit our taste, until we settled on this recipe (most of the seasonings are approximately double the original amounts). This is a great comfort-food gift — what I call “A Hug in a Bowl” — everyone loves it and requests the recipe. We often make a double batch and freeze half for another day. It tastes even better the next day after the flavors have a chance to blend. (The photo above shows pieces of broccoli which I included on one occasion. I’ve also added shredded cabbage and you may need to adjust the liquid to accommodate extra ingredients.)  It makes a complete meal in itself, but try it with Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread for a larger meal or a soup party!

To make-ahead and freeze: Follow recipe except DO NOT ADD ZUCCHINI. (Zucchini will turn to mush in the freezer; ask me how I know!) Thaw, re-heat, then add zucchini and simmer for 10 minutes.

Chunky Hearty Three-Bean Soup

  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground turkey (antibiotic-free 1.4# package at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 tsp. (about) fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 can (28 oz.) low-sodium tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 quart container vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas (we use pinto beans), drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained (we use frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot pieces (we use half-bag shredded carrots)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (about 2 big squirts)
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/2 pieces

Combine turkey with fennel seed and Italian seasoning; gently mix well to incorporate the seasonings into the meat.

Combine remaining dry seasonings (chili powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, oregano, and basil) and set aside.

In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil; add garlic and turkey and cook until turkey is browned. Sprinkle dry seasonings on top of turkey mix and toss to coat.

Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT zucchini. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.

Add zucchini; simmer covered for 10 minutes more.

Makes up to 12 servings.


  • In place of the chopped onion and carrots, I often use a whole container of Mirepoix from Trader Joe’s – a very convenient pre-chopped mix of carrots, onions, and celery.  Just dump it into the pan and saute it in the olive oil until the ingredients soften.  Then, I add the turkey and continue the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s