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6 Warming Bean Soup Recipes for Fall + Winter

Hearty and wholesome.

bowl of senate bean soup with ham and salad on wooden table

Some consider heavy dishes like mac and cheese or meatloaf the ultimate comfort foods. But thick, savory bean soups rank as top contenders, too. Bean soups are nourishing, healthy, and filling. From the world’s best vegetarian chili to retro Senate Bean Soup, here are 6 hearty bean soup recipes to keep you warm and full this fall and winter.

6 Cozy Bean Soup and Stew Recipes for Fall and Winter

Senate Bean Soup

bowl of senate bean soup with ham and salad on wooden table

If you want to enjoy Senate Bean Soup, there are two options. One option is to head to the Senate cafeteria, on the ground floor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The other is to make this easy, hammy, three-ingredient Senate Bean Soup recipe yourself. So good it’s been on the Senate menu for over 100 years.

The Best Vegetarian Chili

bowl of beans vegetarian chili with cheese and scallions on top

I love a great vegetarian chili. Emphasis on the word “great.” A great vegetarian chili, unlike merely “very good” iterations, has a thick, hearty texture and real depth of flavor: smoky, rich, fragrant from cumin, plus extra points for a little spice. It took me many years to hone what I think is one of the single best vegetarian chili recipes out there. Here it is.

Vegetarian French Lentil Soup

mugs of french lentil soup with biscuit

Lentil soup is always in heavy rotation in my home. Easy to make, hearty, and filling, this recipe makes a great vegetarian lunch or dinner all on its own, or with some crusty bread and butter.

Bacon Black Bean Soup

bowl of black bean soup with cheddar cilantro jalepeno with spoon

Everyone needs and deserves a good black bean soup recipe, heaped with all the best toppings: cheese, scallions, cornbread, sour cream, cilantro, you name it.

Pasta e Fagioli (Rosemary White Bean Soup)

rosemary white bean soup in bowl with parsley

White bean soup, or pasta e fagioli (pronounced “Pasta-fa-ZHOOL”), is an Italian peasant meal. This means, of course, that it tastes hearty and delicious, and uses fresh, inexpensive ingredients. This rustic, creamy bean relies squarely on the simple magic of dried cannellini beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, tomato paste, and water. Plus a secret trick or two.

Tomato, Kale and Chickpea Stew

bowls of tomato kale chickpea stew with grated parmesan and basil leaves over polenta

There are many things to love about this tomato, kale and chickpea stew recipe. For one, it is a one-pot, dump-and-stir wonder that cooks in about 30 minutes. Secondly, it has incredible flavor and texture from all the right ingredients. You will love this.

Are you making one of these bean soups? Pair your soup with:

Here’s one soup to get you started:

bowl of senate bean soup with ham and salad on wooden table

Senate Bean Soup (The Official Recipe)

A historic ham and bean soup recipe that's always on the Senate menu for a reason. With not much more than navy beans, a ham hock, and water, you can have one of the country's most satisfying, and famous, soups.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: beans, comfort food, easy, ham, patriotic, senate, soup
Servings: 4 people
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound dry navy beans
  • 3/4 pound smoked ham hock
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • kosher salt, to taste (I do about 2 teaspoons)
  • fresh black pepper, to taste


  • Rinse the navy beans and pick over. Place beans into large pot with two quarts of cold water and the ham hock. Bring just to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for approximately three hours in a partially-covered pot, stirring occasionally, until the beans have fully softened.
  • Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, lightly brown the onion in butter and add to the soup. Pull meat from the ham hocks and return to soup. Stir. Before serving, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. 

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