The best combinations are simple and surprising. Make extra and make it often, because you’ll want to always have some in your freezer for a cold day. It’s the kind of dish you can serve to guests or make a batch of it for a weekday lunch.–Ali Rosen

A green glass bowl of turmeric bean soup, filled with beans and broth, beside a green and white dish towel.

Turmeric Bean Soup

5 / 4 votes
This soup delivers on 2 counts: it’s so easy that you don’t even have to drain the beans you’re using, and the combination of turmeric and cardamom with a kick of ginger is so addictive
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories267 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large (9 oz) yellow onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • Pinch of salt plus 1 teaspoon, divided, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, plus more if desired
  • 5 cups store-bought or homemade vegetable broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup (7 oz) green lentils
  • One (15-ounce) can black beans, including the liquid
  • One (15-ounce) can cannellini beans , including the liquid
  • Fresh parsley leaves (optional)


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft and have begun to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  • Add turmeric and cardamom, stir, and let cook for 1 minute. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
  • Add lentils and cook until they have begun to soften and are almost ready to eat, 15 to 20 minutes. If you like your lentils softer, cook a few minutes more.
  • Stir in black and cannellini beans. Taste, add salt, if needed. Add a bit more cardamom if you want a stronger flavor. If the soup is thicker than you prefer, thin with additional vegetable broth.
  • Cook for 1 minute more. Garnish with parsley leaves, if using, and serve.


Can I freeze turmeric bean soup?

This turmeric bean soup freezes exceptionally well. After step 4, allow the soup to cool, then divide between freezer-safe bags or containers and stash in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, either thaw in the fridge overnight or cook directly from frozen over low heat. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Modern Freezer Meals

Adapted From

Modern Freezer Meals

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 267 kcalCarbohydrates: 46 gProtein: 17 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gSodium: 945 mgFiber: 17 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Ali Rosen. Photo © 2021 Noah Fecks. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Turmeric bean soup is warm, cozy, and filling and this trifecta of beans is a hearty option for cooler days. A few minutes of prep work, simmering for just under half an hour, and the soup was served. I was a little nervous to add more cardamom but decided to increase it by 1/8 teaspoon and was glad I did. I’ll be storing the next batch in the freezer to have on hand for busy days.

This hearty turmeric bean soup is the perfect addition to any meal during the upcoming fall and winter seasons. The highlight of this recipe was how well the warm notes of the ginger and aromatic spices complement the hearty beans, and I look forward to making this dish for friends and family again with minor adjustments.

Adding the liquid from the cans of beans resulted in a very thick, stew-like final product. For future iterations, I’d rinse the beans before adding them to the pot and increase the volume of vegetable broth to 6 cups, so that the final product has a thinner consistency.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was a simple recipe but pacts a hearty and flavorful punch. I really enjoyed cooking this recipe. Some items were not available in stores, so I had to deviate a little from the recipe. Instead of cannellini beans I used a can of Organic Great Northern Beans, 4 cups of vegetable broth, and dried parsley flakes. The modifications did not hinder the taste at all. I would make this again with the cannellini and more vegetable broth for a thinner soup. The ginger went so well with the cardamom. Thanks.