Tomato Vegetable Bean Soup

Here it is everyone: My go-to, super clean, yummy delicious, signature soup. 

When I dove into plant-based eating a few years ago, this was the first vegan recipe I invented. I love it because it’s warm and hearty and full of vegetables. The beans add texture and protein. The nutritional yeast (one of my favorite ingredients) adds a rich buttery flavor. The greens, whether you use kale or spinach, make you feel like you’re eating a bowl of health. It fills you up without weighing you down.

I have passed this recipe along to friends and family – herbivores and carnivores alike – who all make it over and over again, because it’s tasty, simple and fast. You can toss the whole pot together in 20 minutes or so (depending on how fast you chop veg!) and then cook it up in about an hour.



Total time:

1.5 hours


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cubed sweet potato
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (that’s 2 boxes of low sodium organic broth, or
  • you can use homemade broth)
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (blended first so that there are no chunks, or just use pureed)
  • 1 can navy or cannellini beans (about 1.5 cups), drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • 4 to 5 cups (two big handfuls) chopped kale (stems removed) or spinach
  • Kosher or sea salt, and fresh pepper to taste


  1. Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in a big pot, with a about ½ cup of water – simmer until they soften, about 10 minutes, adding more water when needed to keep them from sticking to the pot.
  2. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, sweet potatoes, garlic, broth and tomato puree. Stir. Add salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and nutritional yeast, stir and cook for another 20 minutes
  4. Add the kale or spinach, and the basil, stir and cook for about 10 more minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.

First, make the marinade for the tofu:

Whisk together:

  • 2/3 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil

Preheat oven to 350

  • Remove the tofu from its package and place in a colander over a bowl, allowing it to drain. For faster results, wrap the tofu in a clean cloth and place it between two heavy books, to squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Slice the tofu into half-inch slides, width-wise. This should yield 8 slices.
  • Arrange tofu in a shallow dish (I like to use a large glass pie dish) and pour marinade over the top making sure all the tofu is in the marinade. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Place the tofu on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for one hour, turning the pieces over once (after 30 minutes).

While that’s cooking, prep your veg:

  • Peel and julienne the carrot and cucumber. I use a mandolin with julienne attachment, but you can also use a Cuisinart with a julienne grate, or just very slowly and carefully julienne your own veg (slicing very thin, long slices that resemble fettuccini noodles).
  • Wash and dry your lettuce (don’t overly chop, the leaves should intact for this recipe because you’re going to want nice long pieces of lettuce for your wrap. Cut lettuce lengthwise.
  • Clean cilantro and tear off leaves until you have about 1 ½ cups, depending on how much cilantro you want in each roll.

Now make your dipping sauces. Whisk together:

Sauce 1:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon great quality peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like Crystal for these sauces)
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • A splash of hot water (this helps melt the peanut butter)

Sauce 2:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon great quality ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce  
  • ½ teaspoon honey

Time to assemble the rolls:

Once the tofu is done baking, let cool for a bit then cut each piece lengthwise (so that the slice you are using for the roll is about the size of your pinky finger).

Have your vegetables at the ready!

Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Have a nice clean surface (I use a large flat plate) for rolling. 

Place a rice wrapper in the warm water and gently bob it around with your fingertips. In less than a minute it’s ready to use. You’ll know it when you feel it. 

Lay flat on the plate and assemble the ingredients in the middle of the wrap, lengthwise; first, the lettuce, then the tofu (one slice) then the carrots, cucumber and cilantro. Not too much of each you don’t want crazy bulging spring roll!

To roll: fold up the bottom and then fold each edge to the center, like wrapping a little baby in a blanket. 

Pillar Tips

  • Don’t try to cut the assembled spring rolls in half. Serve whole. I use smaller rice wrappers so that each spring roll is a compact size to begin with. Leave one end open because it looks nice. 
  • If you’re a person who refrigerates honey and peanut butter, leave them out on the counter the night before so that they soften up. Makes sauce-whisking much easier. 

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