Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup

I’m going to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show tomorrow! I’m beyond excited! I can’t wait to see her in person and see the beautiful! I’ll let you all know what episode it is and when it will air so you can watch for me in the audience! Thank goodness it’s not today, though. It’s 92 degrees today in New York and my husband and I haven’t gotten around to installing air conditioning or getting fans or anything because we definitely didn’t anticipate the heat arriving so quickly. Thankfully it’ll be back down to 80 degrees tomorrow, then in the 60s on Friday. I wish it would always be 60 degrees outside! I’m not a fan of the heat, obviously, or else I would have stayed in Arizona.

Here is yet another example of my attempt in adding more vegetables into my diet. Trying to make more vegetable based meals is not only healthy, it’s cheaper than buying meat for everything I make! I’ve been doing it often enough that Kramer will willingly eat a meat-free dish – a miracle! I really liked this soup because not only is it very filling, but it’s got tons of different textures and flavors. I added in onions, garlic, bell peppers, beans, and a lightly creamy broth to go along with it all, by adding a bit of sour cream to the soup. It really makes a world of difference and adds a touch of richness to the vegetables. I also used an herb that I don’t use very often, but it’s one of my favorites: savory. Savory is a very popular herb in Italy, where it is most commonly paired with beans. It’s also popular in Germany, where the word for savory is bohenkraut, which translates into bean herb. It’s a bold herb with an almost peppery taste, and yes, indeed, the herb inspired the word that we use to describe foods that are not sweet: savory! Surprise, surprise. Summer savory is reminiscent of mint and thyme, while the winter variety has a stronger taste. Many people like to use savory in dishes when they are trying to watch his or her salt intake, because the boldness of the herb helps to make up for the lack of actual salt. Savory is also an essential ingredient in the ever popular Herbs de Provence. If you haven’t given savory a try yet, pick some up at your local grocery store and add it to some of your favorite dishes. I’m sure you’ll love what it brings to the table.

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup
The ingredients. I only had beef broth on hand, so I used that, but I would much prefer to have used vegetable broth.

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and add in the onion and bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then add in the garlic and turn the heat down to medium. Saute for another 5 minutes, until fragrant.

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup
When the garlic is turning golden and is fragrant, add in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, savory (optional), salt, pepper, and the beans. Bring everything to a light boil and allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring often.

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup
Place 3 tablespoons of sour cream in a small bowl, then add in about 1/4 cup of the soup’s hot broth, and whisk together. This will temper the sour cream so that when you add it to the soup, it will be smooth and not chunky when you add it to the rest of the soup.

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup

Hearty Bean and Tomato Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes, with juices from the can
  • 14.5 ounces can low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used ½ teaspoon because I like things a bit hotter)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons ground savory
  • 2 cans low-sodium beans (I used black and cannellini beans)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  1. Heat your olive oil in a large pot, then add in the diced onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and add in the garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, vegetables broth, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, savory, beans, salt, and pepper. Bring everything to a light boil, then cook for 10 minutes or so, until the soup has thickened slightly.
  3. Spoon the sour cream into a small bowl, then add about ¼ cup of the soup to the sour cream. Whisk together to temper, so that the shock of the heat to the sour cream won't cause it to become chunky in the soup, and then add the tempered sour cream to the pot. Stir to combine, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve. Serves 4.


34 Responses

  1. Stevie says:

    Looks delicious! Being in college and all, I love hearty soups that are as yummy as they are inexpensive. I’m excited to try this one!

  2. Jane M says:

    How did you land tix to Martha? Who will be going with you? Hope you have a great time! I’m sure you will!

    • Sydney says:

      Jane: You just go to her website, fill out a few questions, and then they give you the tickets for free! You have to get there almost 3 hours prior to the show, but I know I’ll have fun! I’ve talked my husband into going with me, haha! I think he’ll be into it, though.

  3. Memoria says:

    You’re so lucky!!! Have fun at the show! This soup looks so hearty and healthy. Lovely photo.

  4. Mom says:

    I think I use Herbs de Provence, on everything. It usually a staple we find in European kitchens, when traveling. Looks great. Have fun at Martha!
    Love You

  5. Kirsten says:

    You’re gonna see Martha?!! Lucky lucky girl. I’d probably have a hard time restraining myself from leaping onto the stage and petting her pretty little head, and that would probably lead to a restraining order….so I guess I’m trying to say that it’s probably a good thing I’m not going. Good Luck!

  6. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year and a half now I’d say, and have yet to make anything from it… Until tonight! It’s pouring rain and thundering, and what better to make than this soup! Randomly enough, I had all of the ingredients (when did I become such an adult that I have real ingredients to put in things? Ha!) INCREDIBLE! I highly recommend using the sour cream at the end for sure! Man, I’m so pumped about this recipe!!

  7. Angela Mears says:

    You’re right about savory… and I think I like it better than the winter variety. A gorgeous soup.

  8. Susi says:

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog, I have been reading yours forever and enjoy all of your recipes :o) That bean and tomato soup looks so good. I will have to put this in my recipe file for future use :o)

  9. Silvia says:

    How fantastic!! HOW did they get in contact with you???

    What a treat to check in with your blog today and read the news! It made me really happy! Many, many congratulations!

  10. Silvia says:

    ARgh..I was so excited I didn’t even read the previous posts with the answer to my question! I’m sorry about that!

  11. Kathleen says:

    This soup sounds really yummy. Great photo!

  12. Enjoy your show…………..must be exciting to be in the audience with Martha S

  13. bunkycooks says:

    What a delicious way to add some great veggies to your diet! I love soups no matter what the season and yours looks wonderful.

  14. Alison says:

    Just made this for dinner, it was outstanding!!!!

  15. Jessica says:

    I made this over the weekend and it really hit the spot. My 2 year old couldn’t get enough and I was finally able to get her to eat bell peppers. One thing that disturbed me, I bought Safeway brand Kidney beans and I noticed they have “High Fructose Corn Syrup”. Have you ever noticed that? I notice you sometimes use Safeway ingredients. Anyways, I am not an anti-HFCS fanatic but I would rather save it for my gummy bears, etc. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Sydney says:

      Jessica: That’s surprising to hear about the Safeway brand beans! In the next few recipes I’m posting that use beans, you’ll notice that I’ve been soaking dry beans overnight. It seems like a bit of a hassle, but it’s really easy, and the only extra step after soaking is boiling them for 20 minutes or so to get them to the same tenderness as canned beans. It’s my new preferred method of making beans. I was worried mostly about the sodium levels in canned beans, but I can’t believe that that’s HFCS in the Safeway canned beans! Thanks for the head’s up and thanks for visiting my site!

  16. Lexie says:

    yum! made this for dinner tonight — couldn’t find any savory, so I threw some rosemary in. delicious — can’t wait to make it again WITH the savory!

  17. jill says:

    martha stewart was getting an honorary doctorate degree at my college (moore college of art and design) she stood up the school she never showed up did’nt call and say why or anything. and the news was there and todd oldham, happy fernandez and everything…. so after that im anti martha stewart

  18. sarah says:

    I just made this today….it is amazing! Had it as soup for lunch and am thinking of poaching some halibut and having it over that for dinner. Yummers! Thanks!

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