The first time I made this soup it was a happy accident; it was really just me cleaning out my refrigerator, assessing the ingredients and thinking, “This would make a great soup!”.
The second time I made it, I adjusted the seasonings and wrote everything down so I could share it with you. Then I realized that I had my camera (the one I use for the in-process shots) on the wrong setting and didn’t have any pictures to share.
Not a big deal because as you already know we (especially me) are major soup addicts in this house so making this for a third time was not exactly going to be a problem. This is a great Fall soup chock full of different flavors and textures, very comforting and hard to believe that a 2-cup serving is only 4 Points Plus. I love when that happens!
This soup (like many) is even better the next day when the flavors really have time to come together, it reheats great and can be frozen if you don’t mind that the potato texture changes just a bit from the freezer.
- You can use any combination of water, broth or bean cooking liquid (from soaking and cooking dried beans). I do not recommend using all broth though as it may make your soup too salty. A good ratio is 50% broth (4 cups) to 50% bean broth or water or a combo of the two.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 small carrots (or 4 medium or 2 large), cut into ¼" rounds
- 4 small or 2 medium russet potatoes, cubed with skin on
- 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 3 cups kidney beans (or 2 14.5-ounce cans rinsed and drained)
- 6 ounces organic baby spinach
- 8 cups water / broth / bean cooking broth
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Sherry Vinegar
- Start by chopping onion and garlic (use food processor if you are pressed for time). Wash and peel carrots, cut into ¼" rounds. Wash potatoes and cube into 1" pieces with skin on. Clean mushrooms, trim ends and quarter.
- Place potatoes in a small bowl and cover with cold water until ready to use.
- If using canned beans, rinse and drain. Measure your vegetable and/or bean broth / water (see NOTES) and set aside. Pull out spices, Sherry Vinegar and spinach. Finally, bundle rosemary sprig and bay leaf in a spice bag or cheesecloth tied with string or a silicone rubber band.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and then chopped onion, garlic and rosemary-bay leaf bundle. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are soft.
- Drain potatoes and add along with carrots as well as 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and 8 to 10 turns of freshly ground black pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.
- Add broth and bring to a boil.
- Add in quartered mushrooms and kidney beans and bring back to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 25 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Remove lid and remove bay leaf packet.
- Add in baby spinach, remaining teaspoon of kosher salt, more freshly ground black pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes and Sherry Vinegar. Taste and slowly adjust seasonings if needed. Cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.
- Excellent served with crusty, whole-grain country bread. Enjoy!