A Hearty Soup for a Snow Day

I love to make a hearty, simple soup for a warming and healing meal that easily creates leftovers to cover our family’s dinner-time nutrition needs during the start of a busy week. And during cold-and-flu season, a meal that’s full of fluid, phytonutrients and protein, that’s also easy to digest, is just what the doctor—or in this case, the nutritionist—ordered!

I kept the flavors simple so my 5-year-old’s palate would enjoy it.  My 10-year-old is far more adventurous and he spiced his bowl up a bit with some cumin and hot chili sauce. Feel free to add more spices and seasonings for additional flavor, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil work well in this soup or kick it up with some ground cumin, chipotle powder, or cayenne pepper.


  • 32 oz (1 L) organic veggie broth (or make your own)
  • 1 cup (170 g) dry pinto beans
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 16 oz. can of corn (or fresh)
  • 2-4 cups (500 ml – 1 L) water, range is based on consistency of desired soup
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (185 g) brown rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric


  1. If using dry beans soak overnight then drain and rinse (if using BPA-free canned beans, drain and rinse).
  2. Add olive oil to pot and bring to low-medium heat.
  3. Dice onions and garlic and add to pot with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Sauté until onions are soft, about 5-8 minutes on low/medium heat.
  5. In the meantime, chop spinach and cut corn from ear if using fresh.
  6. Add broth and 2 cups of water  if you desire a thinner consistency. For a thicker soup, leave the water out.
  7. Add pinto beans, spinach and corn.
  8. Bring to strong simmer on medium/high then reduce heat to simmer
  9. Simmer with partially covered pot for about 2-3 hours until beans are soft.
  10. Stir occasionally and add additional water as desired.
  11. While soup is cooking, make rice. In rice cooker: add 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water. Before starting, add turmeric, pepper and pinch salt (optional).
  12. Serve and enjoy! Place a scoop of brown rice in the bottom of your bowl. Top with a ladle of soup. Garnish with parsley or spinach as desired.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Servings: 8


  • Pinto beans – white/cannellini beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans
  • Spinach – kale, Swiss chard, collard greens
  • Brown Rice – quinoa
  • Corn – peas

Calories: 190

Fat: 3g

Trans Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 320mg

Carbohydrates: 30g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 5g

Protein: 5g