Herby Bean Soup | Low Fat, THM E, Vegan

I love soups and stews any time of year. They’re great for the cool and cold days of spring, fall and winter to warm my tummy. Plus, for the heat of summer, I can make them without heating up my kitchen too much since they’re made in the crock pot, instant pot or on the stove top with no oven involved. This super fast to make, herb-filled, healthy Herby Bean Soup is one of my favorites.

Herby Bean Soup in cup with Bread and Rosemary

Favorite Memories Make Favorite Soups

I first discovered the basis for this lovely soup when I took Beck for a birthday weekend to Snug Hollow Farm in Irvine, Kentucky. I chose Snug Hollow because it was about 4 ½ hours away from home, had beautiful pictures online, and offered gourmet vegetarian cooking. 

We were served their rendition of this soup our first night at the farm. Arriving about an hour late, we’d missed dinner.  Barbara, the innkeeper, offered us a light dinner of soup, bread, and salad. We were glad we said yes, when we tasted her Kentuscan Bean Soup, rosemary braided bread, and a side salad. Neither Beck or I knew we had gluten / wheat sensitivities at the time, so we enjoyed our dinner enormously.

We liked the food so much, I purchased the Snug Hollow Cook book Hot Food & Warm Memories.  Over the years, I’ve revised many of those recipes to decrease the sodium, decrease the fat, remove sugar, and make them gluten and wheat free. Many of the recipes don’t meet my 15-minute prep time cut off so I haven’t included them on Naturally Happy Healthy Me. Since Rosemary Sage Bean Soup takes less then 15 minutes to prepare, it made the cut. Hooray!

Barbara shared with me that she had food sensitivities and couldn’t eat many of the recipes she prepared at the farm. I like to think she will find my recipes and enjoy them.

Beck loved his birthday gift, and we had a wonderful time on the farm, including eating Barbara’s rib-sticking vegetarian food. In addition, Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge are only a 45-minute drive away. During our stay we took a countryside drive and biked through the area. One day, I'd like to return to Snug Hollow Farm.

Easy to Change It Up for Vegan, Low Sodium and More

Herby Bean soup can easily be made vegan by using the vegan coconut oil option and omitting the butter flavoring, then increasing the nutritional yeast to taste. It’s an excellent option for vegans, since the nutritional yeast provides a whopping 65% of the RDA of vitamin B12 at the ½ cup nutritional yeast per eight servings of soup. Vegans need to either supplement with B12 or make sure they eat the few foods high in B12 allowable on a vegan diet.

We like this soup so much, I’ve served it as an appetizer or side in a small cup, as an entree for lunch and dinner and even eaten it for breakfast when I had leftovers and was in a hurry. I’ve also doubled the original recipe because it tastes better in my opinion as a leftover, and it freezes and reheats well. It also keeps for days in the refrigerator, so it rarely makes it to the freezer at our house.

Cooked pinto beans

Since beans are the main ingredient, even using canned beans, this recipe is still an inexpensive option. You can make it even more cheaply by cooking your beans from scratch, although this will tremendously increase the prep and cooking time of the recipe. Sage and rosemary are easy herbs to grow in the garden or in a pot. I always have them growing and dry my leftovers every year so even though dried herbs can be pricey, these herbs cost me pennies.

While I wouldn’t consider this a low sodium recipe because reduced sodium organic tamari still has 700 mg of sodium per tablespoon, this recreation of the original recipe tremendously reduces the sodium by substituting low sodium canned beans which come in at 1/8 to ½ the sodium of regular canned beans and using the reduced sodium tamari. To reduce the sodium further, use the lower amount of reduced sodium tamari, then only add more if you think the soup needs more flavor.

How to Prevent Gas from Beans - Cheaply

Although I love their flavor, pinto beans give me terrible gas. I discovered if I use Equate Gas and Bloating Prevention capsules, I avoid the gas. I purchase them at Walmart and find the equate brand comparable to Beano brand, but much less expensive.

Fortunately, I also discovered the Gas and Bloating capsules help me digest other problem foods like cruciferous vegetables and whole grains. Check out the list of foods on the label as you may find foods that cause you gas that you can add back into your diet if you take these cheap digestive enzymes.

On the infrequent occasions I eat wheat, I take one or two of these and have much less digestive upset from the wheat. That tells me at least one of my problems with wheat stems from an inability to digest it.

Make It a Meal

Herby Bean Soup is easy to make as a meal. Just add a low-fat salad or low carb vegetables steamed. Check out easy salad ideas at Super Easy & Healthy Salad Dressings Roundup. It's also good with low-fat gluten free crackers. 

Herby Bean Soup

Aromatic, healthy, easy to prepare bean soup. Sure to please your taste buds any time of year!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beans, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Nut Free, THM E, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 210kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 15 oz cans low sodium pinto beans drained
  • 2 15 oz cans low sodium great northern or cannellini beans drained
  • 1 T Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil Butter Flavor for vegan or 1 T organic butter
  • 6 T chopped garlic
  • 3 T fresh or 1 T dried chopped rosemary
  • 2 T dried rubbed sage
  • 2-4 T reduced sodium organic tamari sauce gluten free
  • ¼-½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t natural butter flavor omit for vegan option and use more nutritional yeast to taste

Instructions

  • For stovetop, in a large pot, melt coconut oil or butter over low heat. Add garlic, sage and pepper. Cook for a few minutes. This soup is so easy on the stovetop, that’s how I make it.
  • Add tamari, nutritional yeast, rosemary, water, and beans. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Tastes best if you let the soup sit for at least an hour, then warm before serving. Add natural butter flavor just before serving.

Notes

This soup tastes even better leftover. I use the leftovers for lunch the next day, for an appetizer before a meal or as a snack. They never make it to the freezer even though I double the recipe. 
If you have problem with gas from beans, be sure to read the article with this recipe for easy remedies. 

Nutrition*: Total Fat: 2g, Total Carbohydrates: 34g, Dietary Fiber: 8.5g, Protein: 12.9g

*For single serving with 1/2 cup of the nutritional yeast and no butter flavoring.

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