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Big-Batch Lentil-Bean Soup

by Berkeley Wellness  

This hearty soup is perfect for a big crowd. You can make the soup a day ahead, but add the macaroni shortly before serving, otherwise it will soak up a good deal of the liquid. If you are cooking the pinto beans from scratch, you can use some of the bean cooking liquid instead of the 2 cups of water called for in step 3.

Timing alert: Start the soup the night before so you can soak the pinto beans; or if you quick-soak the beans, start at least 2 hours before you intend to serve the soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 bunches scallions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 fresh jalapeño peppers, minced
  • 5 carrots, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pound lentils
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 14 cups water
  • 3½ cups cooked pinto beans or canned (rinsed and drained)
  • 12 ounces small elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


1. In a stockpot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the scallions, garlic, and jalapeños, and cook, stirring frequently, until the scallions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the lentils, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, salt, coriander, ginger, and 12 cups of the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the pinto beans and remaining 2 cups water, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni until tender. Drain and add to the soup along with the cilantro.

Makes 20 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 220 calories, 2g total fat (0g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 12g dietary fiber, 40g carbohydrate, 12g protein, 570mg sodium.

A good source of: beta carotene, fiber, folate, selenium, thiamin, vitamin C.