Happy New Year! For my first post of 2013 I wanted to feature something healthy, simple and filling, Since soups is my most popular recipe category I thought it would be a great way to kick off a healthy 2013. It is such a fun way to experiment will all kinds of healthy, delicious ingredients. I especially love soup in the winter, it’s  a perfect cold weather meal. This soup came together on Sunday afternoon as we were decorating our Christmas tree. I wanted something simple and healthy that could last a few days. I soaked some white beans and then added some other things I had on hand.

This soup provides a perfect use for my Freezer Pesto that I featured a while back. Pesto has so many uses beyond pasta. Dropping in a few freezer cubes was such a perfect way to add delicious fresh flavor. I am especially happy because I used my summer basil crop to make the pesto, so I still get to enjoy my garden, even in December!

This soup fit my three criteria: it was filling, comforting and flavorful. It was such a simple vegetarian/vegan meal! Potatoes and beans add bulk, while carrots and rainbow chard add lots of color. The pesto add delicious flavor and a bit of a kick. Serve with some crusty bread.


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup dried cannelini beans, soaked (or 1.5 cans, rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1lb red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½” pieces
  • 3 cups rainbow chard, washed and chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 pesto cubes (or 2 tbsp prepared pesto)


  1. Soak dried beans for at least 4 hours or overnight
  2. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and leek in olive oil on medium heat 5-6 minutes until softened
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add beans, veggie broth and water and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until beans are cooked, 25-35 min
  6. Once beans are cooked, add potatoes, carrots, chard and rosemary
  7. Cover and simmer on med-low for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender
  8. Swirl in pesto and serve


For CANNED beans: Skip steps 4 and 5 and just add beans when you add the potatoes and carrots. Follow the rest of the instructions.

NOTE: Readers asked me to estimate the nutrition info for this soup after I cooked and consumed it. So, I made some estimates based on 6 large servings of this soup. Because of this, I do not have a serving size recommendation, you just have to eyeball it.

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