Meatless Monday: 17 Bean Soup

Yeah, I know it’s not Monday, but I got busy studying last night (seriously!), and didn’t have a chance to post this until this morning.  Just pretend it’s not Tuesday for the next few minutes and we’ll be all set.

I thought it might be interesting to look up Meatless Mondays because my dad mentioned to me that it’s related to a lot of, shall we say, enthusiastic anti-meat campaigns.  I am clearly not anti-meat.  In fact, I am very pro-meat.  Too much, really, since I forget about vegetables and that’s largely why I decided to institute Meatless Mondays in the first place.  That and the cute alliteration.

I thought I was so clever thinking up the name, but it turns out that “Meatless Mondays” was coined during WWI (along with “Wheatless Wednesdays”) by the FDA to encourage families to help with the war effort.  It was reinstated in the second world war, and since then has been used by various campaigns for environmental and public health awareness.  I am all for awareness, but I wanted to differentiate between my Meatless Monday (eat more veggies!) and other campaigns (eat less meat!).  Though I won’t enter the issue of animal rights and ethics (since I’d like to let you have your own opinion), from what I’ve read, eating meat (even red meat) isn’t bad for you–unless you aren’t eating in moderation.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?  Like my dad wisely said,

“We’ve always known it’s most important to eat with moderation, variety, and balance”.

At least I think that’s what he said.  Something like that.


17 Bean Soup

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s dried 17 Bean mix (or whatever beans and grains you like)
  • 1 (large) leek, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • handful of baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 radishes, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 C veggie broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

I saw this and couldn't resist buying--there's no way I'd ever buy 17 bags of dried beans and barley so it was nice to have a mix!

First, soak the beans overnight–cover so there are two inches of water on top of the beans and leave in the fridge.  Next day, rinse the beans with cool water a few times and let them drain.

Peel and dice the veggies, trying to keep them of roughly equal sizes so they cook evenly.  Cook them over medium-high heat in a large pot (that’s a lot of vegetables!) in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they are softened and smell good enough to…well, eat.

Put them in the biggest pot you have, because I always make waay too much soup.

Mom bought me this pot last year and it's perfect for moments just like this

This is the fun part.  The reason I love making soup (and I definitely got this from my mom), is that you can add whatever you want and it almost always tastes amazing because soup is really easy to adjust!  I wasn’t going to add tomatoes at first, but when I tasted it I felt that it was lacking something–then I threw in some bay leaves, thyme, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper.  Sorry Fritz!  I love really peppery soups on a cold day.

I thought you might be amused to see the massive amount of leftovers I have.  Luckily Fritz and I bought some screw-top Gladware that we use to bring soup to school for lunch–hot soup really hits the spot at school when you are exhausted and need a pick-me-up.


I know.  It’s ridiculous.

Before I leave (to go study more…ugh!), I thought I’d give you a quick peak into the real mastermind behind my cookery.  Have you seen Ratatouille?  Henry is very much like the rat and he really knows how to put a meal together.  Here he is consulting the spice chart that Mom gave me (and I grew up using):

"Thyme? Or is this really more of a sage situation?"

1 Comment

Filed under Soups/Stews

One response to “Meatless Monday: 17 Bean Soup

  1. Hannah

    I buy that same bean mixture, but I use it for the NYS “Beaks and Finches” lab variation (well, when I do it that way, which is rarely).

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