Zesty Kidney Bean Soup

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This kidney bean soup is totally delicious, easy to make, and hearty enough for a meal! With red kidney beans, potatoes, sweet corn and juicy tomatoes, it’s bursting with flavor and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

I always keep a few cans of beans on hand for soups like this one. Personally, I think bean soups are among the best soups because they’re super filling and tend to be packed with flavor. While I’ve got quite a collection of go-to bean soups, it just recently occurred to me that I’d yet to create a red kidney bean soup recipe. Time to change that!

Bean soups are also super versatile. You can season them so many ways!

I seasoned this particular kidney bean soup with a blend of southwestern-inspired spices. As a long time lover of dishes like vegan chili and rice and beans, I feel like these spices go hand-in-hand with red beans. The result was absolutely scrumptious! From now on I’ll be keeping some canned kidney beans in my emergency soup stash, because this stuff is going right into regular rotation.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How to Make Kidney Bean Soup
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Bean Soups
  • Zesty Kidney Bean Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Feel free to substitute another high-heat oil if you’d like, such as corn, canola, or coconut oil.
  • Onion.
  • Red bell pepper. You can use another color of bell pepper if you’d prefer.
  • Garlic.
  • Cumin.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Cayenne pepper. This is totally optional. Use it for a little extra kick in your soup, or leave it out for milder soup.
  • Kidney beans. The recipe calls for canned red kidney beans. Feel free to use dark red or light red (or a mix!). You’d even be fine to use white kidney beans (a.k.a. cannellini beans).
  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Potato. The recipe calls for a plain old russet potato, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use a couple of red or yellow potatoes.
  • Diced tomatoes. We’re using canned diced tomatoes. Feel free to use the kind packed in juice or sauce (it will make very little difference in the final dish).
  • Frozen corn.
  • Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Fresh cilantro. Just for topping! Skip it if you’re not a cilantro fan, or substitute scallions.

How to Make Kidney Bean Soup

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat your oil in a large pot, then add diced onion and bell pepper. Sweat them for a few minutes, until they start to soften up, then add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cook everything for a minute more. Stir the mixture often to prevent burning.
  • Stir in the beans, broth, and diced potato. Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, until the potato is tender.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and let the soup continue simmering for 5 minutes.
  • Take the pot off of the burner and blend about a third of the soup. You can use a hand-held immersion blender like I did (this is recommended), or very carefully transfer a portion of the soup to a food processor or blender for blending. Feel free to blend more of the soup if you’d like it creamier, or less if you’d prefer a chunkier soup.
  • At this point you can reheat the soup on the stove if it has cooled down too much.
  • Stir in some thawed frozen corn and season the soup with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ladle your kidney bean soup into bowls and top each with some fresh cilantro.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover kidney bean soup will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this soup gluten-free?

It is!

Do I need to peel the potato?

Nope! But you absolutely can if you prefer to.

Can I make this soup using dried kidney beans?

You can, but you’ll need to soak and cook them first. Try this method. You’ll need about 5 ½ cups of beans (measured after cooking)

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