‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup

“I TOLD YOU I WAS GOING TO TRY to be more VEGETARIAN !” (at least more regularly and/or occasionally). So this is what I’m doing and maybe I’ll continue with a whole month of a series of vegetarian recipes (this is the 2nd one). A good vegetarian dish takes more time than a carnivorous one . . . This is how I see it : whatever you do and whatever time you decide to spend on doing anything (whether cooking or whatever else), try to do it right, even if it takes more time, just make or do more of whatever you’re making or doing to make it worth your while and ‘cover costs’ so to speak.

BEANS can be complicated. Not for ‘iron-clad’ stomachs but for those with more delicate & sensitive stomachs that have difficulty digesting them.

I grew up with this bean soup but to be honest, I can digest “rocks” so beans are a “breeze” for me whether prepared carefully or not.

This recipe was a bit of a test-case. I’ve always known how to make this soup and I enjoy it but I avoided it because I’d eat it alone so this is a modified traditional family recipe. The aim was how to make a multi-variety bean soup for people who normally have difficulty digesting some varieties of beans and tend to shun it and to ideally make them enjoy it to the point of wanting to eat it again.

It’s a step-by-step process. I use a variety of beans that require different soaking times ranging from 1-hour to 24-hours (but you can use just one variety). They’re soaked and then pre-boiled with baking soda which makes them easily digestible. I also soak the vegetables in water with some salt which deepens their flavors and I use this same flavored water as the broth.

Once all the soaking times, rinsings, pre-boilings & general overall preparing of all the elements are done, all it needs is a quick sauté, then boil and then a gentle and patient simmering period. The end result, perfectly cooked and tender but not mushy beans and vegetables in a tasty, colorful, hearty soup.

And it’s very good & healthy for you too . . . :)


‘fasolàda’ multi-bean & vegetable soup




  • 83 grams (½ cup) dry giant lima beans
  • 83 grams (½ cup) dry white cannellini beans
  • 83 grams (½ cup) dry red kidney beans (or small white navy beans)
  • 18 grams (¼ tsp + ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ) sea salt
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 125 grams (1 ¼ cup) chopped celery
  • 125 grams (1 ¼ cup) chopped carrots
  • 125 grams (1 ½ cup) chopped bell peppers (red, yellow & green)
  • 250 grams (3 cups) sliced yellow or white onions
  • 250 grams (3 cups) chopped de-seeded tomatoes
  • 12,5 grams (1 tbsp) sliced garlic
  • 110 grams (½ cup) olive oil
  • 3 liters (12 cups) water (8 cups from soaking vegetables + 4 extra)
  • 15 grams (1 tbsp) salt
  • 1,0 gram (3-4) bay leaves
  • 0,75 gram (¾ tsp) dried oregano
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried rosemary
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried basil
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried dill
  • 1,0 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper
  • optional : 15 grams (1 tbsp) tomato paste (for color)
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh dill
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • rinse all the beans in cold water separately and by variety (if using all 3), discard any that immediately float and soak the beans accordingly (see the note below) with ¼ tsp salt per bowl and 2 cups water (I soaked the giant lima beans for 12 hours, the white beans for 2 hours and the red beans for 1 hour and sometimes I include chick peas that I soak for 24 hours)

note : different beans require different soaking times (unless using canned pre-cooked beans) according to size and weight; correct soaking times will double the weight of the original dry bean … for example : chick peas that are extremely hard require 24 hours soaking time, giant lima beans require 12 hours soaking time, smaller white cannellini beans require 2 hours soaking time and smaller beans like white navy, red kidney, etc; require only 1 hour … it’s obviously easier to use only 1 type or color of bean but less fun & colorful !

  • chop all the vegetables and reserve in 1 very large bowl with 6 cups of water with 1 ½ tsp salt and 1 small separate bowl just for the tomatoes with 2 cups water and ½ tsp salt (8 cups water total) and reserve (this will flavor the water and will be used for the soup)
  • after soaking the dry beans accordingly, discard the water of each type of bean and set aside
  • using a medium sized casserole, bring 6-7 cups of water to a boil with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda and when boiling, first add the giant lima beans and let boil for 10 minutes, then add the white beans and keep boiling for another 5 minutes and then the kidney beans for another 5 minutes (the water will darken and turn green), discard the hot water and rinse all the beans under cold water until cooled and remove any floating skins

note : if you want to use chick peas too, after 24 hours of soaking, for pre-boiling, add them after the white cannellini beans or at the same time as the smaller red beans or white navy beans …

  • use a large casserole (with a lid) to make the soup, heat up the olive oil at medium-high heat, strain the chopped vegetables and cook them (except for the tomatoes) for 10-15 minutes until slightly softened, stirring occasionally, then add the tomatoes too and cook for another 2-3 minutes
  • add the 8 cups of vegetable-soaking water and an additional 4 cups of water, the bay leaves and the salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then add all the rinsed beans, let come to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer at medium-low heat, add all the dried herbs, cover completely with a lid and let simmer gently for 1 ½ (for a firmer texture) to 2 hours (for a softer texture)
  • add the fresh herbs towards the end, stir well, taste and adjust to your taste and serve warm, sprinkled with more fresh herbs and with some thick slices of rustic country bread.