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.  With winter rearing its head here in New England colds and flu are abundant.  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 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 great 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 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. Saute 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