Friday, March 8, 2013

Bean Soup

My husband manages his cholesterol by eating legumes every day for lunch as well as oatmeal daily for breakfast.  The lunchtime legumes are critical to keeping his cholesterol numbers in check.  I don't eat legumes at all - they are one of my worst food allergies (I can't breathe if I eat them!).

I am happy to make big batches of legume meals for him, though.  Small batches freeze well and provide him with easy lunches all through the winter.

This bean soup recipe can be made with any type of bean you like.  Joe likes pink beans because they don't give him a lot of discomfort the way black beans or kidney beans do.  I buy pink beans in bulk at the local health food store.

Bean Soup

Sort one pound of any beans; cover and soak for 3 to 4 hours.  Drain and place in 2 to 3 quarts water.  Do not add salt.  Cook beans with I bay leaf and a ham hock or bacon pieces (meat is optional). 

 When beans are tender, add 2 chopped carrots, ½ to 1 chopped onion, 2 stalks celery (with leaves if possible),  1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning (whole, crush in your hand and add to soup);  1 teaspoon paprika (optional), 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (also optional); salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon); 1 garlic bud or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.

Cook until done.  Now remove 1 or more cups of beans and vegetables, straining liquid back into the pot.  Mash them and return them to the pot.   This can be done manually or use a blender.  Add back to soup.

This makes the best thick soup, full of flavor. 
I have made it vegetarian by omitting the ham bone.
I have left out the Worcestershire sauce sometimes - because it has wheat in it – the soup is still very good.
I have also left out the paprika because it is a nightshade – and the soup is still very tasty.
However, it really is best with all ingredients. 


  1. I didn't realize that beans helped to lower cholesterol. We eat the oatmeal for breakfast. I know my brother-in-law ate a lot of bean soup after his heart attack but I thought it was because he was trying to cut fat. Now that I think of it I guess it's the fibre in the beans that help.

  2. Joe's levels went down from about 236 to 204 in a matter of months. His doctor was talking to him about going on statins, but I'd seen an article about a study that showed significant improvements in cholesterol levels for men who ate legumes daily. So we tried it and it was remarkable. He was already eating the oatmeal at the time, and still does, but the beans at lunch are really helped with his levels.