Easy Vegan Bean & Potato Soup Recipe
What you need:
2 cups dry beans soaked and drained, or 2 cans of beans
3-5 red potatoes (depending on size and how much you like potatoes)
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pearled barley (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth (organic, low-sodium if possible)
4 cups water
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
What you do:
1. Put the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in your soup pot (a regular dutch oven that comes with pretty much every cooking set will work -- it will just be really full).
2. Add your onions and garlic, and saute on low heat while you cut up the rest of your vegetables, open your cans, etc.
3. Add your vegetable broth to the pot (but hold off on the water -- I will explain in a second).
4. Turn the heat to high and add your vegetables, beans, barley and spices, then stir.
5. Now that you have everything but the water in your pot, you can determine how much room you have left and add water accordingly. Four cups of water will fill a regular dutch oven to just below the top, which is fine as long as you aren't prone to boiling things over, but by adding your water last, you can see how high the level is in your pot and add water accordingly.
6. Once you have achieved a rolling boil, turn your heat down to a nice simmer that you feel comfortable leaving alone. Allow your vegan soup to simmer until the beans and veggies reach your desired level of tenderness -- for me, this is about an hour, but it can be up to 1 1/2 hours if I'm using older beans.
That's pretty much it -- see how easy that was? Now you just kick back and relax for an hour or so, checking on your soup every so often to stir and see how soft your beans and veggies are.
Mixing it up:
For a fat-free vegan soup, simply nix the vegetable oil. You can toss the onions and garlic in the pot with the rest of the veggies and it will cook up just fine.
I use low-sodium vegetable broth and we have never felt a need to add salt. So, this flavorful little number is good for folks on a low-sodium diet. Just remember that if you use canned beans there may be salt added.
The pearled barley isn't necessary, we just really like a hearty soup, and this recipe was an offshoot of my barley bean soup recipe, so we just decided to leave some barley in there. Folks on a gluten-free diet can cut the barley out and still have a tasty vegan bean and vegetable soup.