Philacatessen | Vegan White Bean Soup with Chipotle Peppers


This soup came together one Sunday after a long weekend of hosting a houseful of guests. We wanted something warm, simple and healthy that did not require a trip to the store.

A survey of the cupboard revealed limited options, but this came together nicely with few ingredients. Considering the minimal ingredients and effort required it was shockingly delicious.  The “express” soaking method is a great time saver when using dried beans; it avoids the overnight soaking process. Vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy this soup — no need to tell the carnivores how healthy it is.

I used dried chipotles and dried Thai chilies here, but any dried chili would suffice. The smokiness of the chipotles and the heat of the Thais worked well, and you can remove the peppers early if you wish to avoid too much spice infusing the soup.

Serves eight

1 pound white beans, rinsed

1 onion, chopped

2 dried chipotle chilies

4 dried Thai chilies

1-2 teaspoons salt

  1. In a large pot, cover the beans with water and bring it to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it sit for an hour.
  2. Drain the beans, rinse and return them to the pot.
  3. Add the onion, chilies and salt.
  4. Cover the beans with water; there should be about two inches above the beans to the surface of the water.
  5. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1½-2 hours until the beans are tender and soft.
  6. If there is too much liquid, allow the soup to boil uncovered to reduce the liquid.
  7. Remove the whole chilies, adjust the seasonings and serve.


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