Bowl of Comfort


Comfort food is high on my list these days. But, I’m also keen to eat economically, nutritiously and — to paraphrase food journalist Michael Pollan’s advice in the 2009 PBS documentary “In Defense of Food,” which was based on “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” released the year prior — “Not too much. Mostly plants.”

In that spirit, I offer up this hearty, nutrition-pact, two bean veggie soup that I concocted last week to use up an abundance of fare from our Crescent City Farmers Market delivery from Top Box Foods before it went to waste. It’s perfect for Meatless Monday or, save it for another time. We lived off of the flavorful leftovers for days. Serve it with a crusty bread. Here’s my favorite recipe if you want to try your hand at baking it yourself, like seemingly the rest of the internet. If I have it on hand, I’ll often toss spinach or kale into a soup, so feel free to add a handful or two of that, too, if you are flush with greens. Bon appétit!


Two Bean Veggie Soup


  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 medium or large carrots, one minced and three sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for sauté and some for drizzling
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 large or two small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 8-ounce can yellow corn, drained
  • 1 8-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 butter gold potatoes or red boiling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, reserve a tablespoon for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Begin by making a mirepoix (Check out this Martha Stewart article if you aren’t familiar, but it’s a lot like the Holy Trinity.) Heat olive oil and butter in a large stock pot. Place mirepoix in pot and sauté (or sweat) for about 5 or 10 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add garlic and sauté for about 12 seconds or until it “blooms,” (becomes fragrant). Add water, sliced carrots and whole potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to medium or low and simmer uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes to allow flavors to mix and mingle. If you want it a little thicker, smash the beans against the side of the pot a few times. Laddle into soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil, top with a pinch or so of basil if desired and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Served 6 to 8, dependent upon the size of your ladle.



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