Nine-Bean Soup

Preparation info

  • Makes

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Now that both health and good taste dictate contemporary eating styles, bean dishes are back. Dried beans are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, low in fat, and contain no cholesterol. Use one of the bean mixes sold in supermarkets and gourmet shops or make your own from what you have in the cupboard.


  • Ā½ pound mixed dried beans
  • 2 medium-large red or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 4 teaspoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 small dried hot chili or a pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1Ā½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth, fat skimmed, or Vegetable Broth
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin on a sharp diagonal


    1. Soak beans overnight or give them a short soak as described on. Drain and rinse.
    2. Combine onions, oil, and water in a large wide saucepan, preferably nonstick. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add paprika, marjoram, and chili and cook, stirring, 1 minute longer. Add tomato paste, beans, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Skim foam, reduce heat, and partially cover. Simmer the soup until the beans are tender, about 1Ā½ hours.
    3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add parsley and vinegar, and serve, sprinkling scallions on top.