Nine-Bean Soup

Preparation info

  • Makes


    Main-Course Servings
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

Packaged mixes of dried beans can be found in specialty and health food stores. Or just combine a number of types of dried beans yourself—the actual number of different kinds is not all that important.


  • 2 medium-large red or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 small dried hot chili or a pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ pound dried mixed beans, soaked overnight in enough cold water to cover by 2 inches and drained (or use quick-soak method, Dried Bean Basics)
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 scallions (white and green portions), trimmed and thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal


    1. Combine the onions, oil, and about 1 tablespoon of water in a nonreactive large, wide nonstick saucepan; cook over low heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic; cook, stirring, until the carrots soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, marjoram, and hot chili pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add the tomato paste, drained soaked beans, chicken broth, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Skim the foam off the top with a skimmer or large metal spoon. Partially cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer the soup until the beans are quite tender, about 1½ hours.
    2. Stir in the parsley, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding more vinegar, spices, and herbs, if desired. Remove the hot chili. Serve, sprinkled with scallions.