Savory Grain and Bean Pot

This post is not about pot.  But it is about something addictive: nutritious cooking and eating.

I wish I had time today to tell you all about my new cookbook, the Mennonite’s More-For-Less.  I’ll save that for another day.  Let’s just say it strikes a vibrant chord in me, as I work to create economical, attractive, simple, and extremely delicious meals for my family.

If you’re “cutting back” the ol’ budget, please try this recipe!  If you’re skeptical about beans or grains, try it anyway.  My guess is you’ll be so pleased, it will become a staple on your menu.  It is on mine, as we slowly change our eating habits in a positive direction.

One bowlful each was enough to fill me and my husband, with only a piece of bread on the side.  Our toddler ate it without spitting it back out all over himself, and even requested seconds.  This is his non-breakable, old-fashioned, wonderful wooden bowl:

What more can a Mama ask for?

(By the way, you can see one little piece of meat in the bowlful above.  I saved my boxed-up leftover steak from a wedding reception, diced it, and added it to the soup.  Would have been wonderful without it, but I discovered that the Grain and Bean Pot has open arms for any meat scraps you want to use up.)

Savory Grain and Bean Pot

Feeds 8-10/3 solid meals for 3 people, with some left over to blend and dip crackers in


2 TBS olive oil or other oil

1 C. chopped onion

2 C. chopped vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, celery…)

1 C. cooked soybeans (I used navy beans)

1 C. cooked tomatoes (I used Pastene Kitchen-Ready)

2-3 peppercorns (I estimated with freshly ground pepper)

pinch cayenne

1/4 tsp each of basil, tarragon, oregano, celery seed, summer savory (which I did not have, and simply added parsley)

pinch each of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage

3 TBS soy sauce

1/2 C. brown rice

1/3 C. bulgar or cracked wheat

6-8 C. vegetable stock or broth (I used leftover chicken stock from the bird I cooked up earlier in the week – the little clucker just kept on giving.  Also included the water from cooking the beans.)


Sauté the onions and vegetables in your choice of oil.  Add everything else.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the grains are tender.  That’s it.

The original recipe says you can pressure cook it for 10-15 minutes.  I sautéed the veggies and combined everything in a crock pot, cooking it on high for the first hour or so, and on low for the rest of the day while we were out.  Perfect!

Top the soup with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and freshly clipped chives.


One incredibly filling, delicious, easy-to-stretch meal that keeps cold out and love in.  

Day One: The smell of a long-cooked savory meal begins to waft through the house…  “Mm…  What’s cooking, Mama?”

Day Two: Leftovers smell even better, and the flavor combination of all those spices is even deeper than the day before. 

Like family ties, it gets stronger, and like love, it keeps on givin.’


For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:


5 thoughts on “Savory Grain and Bean Pot

  1. I don’t have More with Less but I LOVE Simply and Season and Extending the Table, which are both Mennonite cookbooks… do you have either? Love the reflections alongside the recipes 🙂 Thanks for this one- I’ve got some bulgar wheat in my fridge sitting around waiting to be used and this looks like it’ll fit the bill perfectly!

    • I don’t have either cookbook, but I’ll be sure to look them up. I am so impressed with the line of thinking and with the delicious and healthy recipes that go hand in hand with it. Thanks for the tip!

      • woops, it’s actually “Simply in Season.” I agree… I’ve been so blessed by the Mennonite’s intentional thinking about the link between spirituality and food, sustainability and justice, etc. If you don’t want to go out and buy “Simply in Season,” there is a woman who cooked through it and blogged about it here: It’d be a good sneak peak if you’re interested!

        p.s. I’m making this tonight— seems like it’ll be pretty simple in the midst thanksgiving prep (my husbands family is coming to town!)

        And thanks for your blog- I’m really enjoying it! Definitely makes me wish I lived in NE again 😉

      • I’m definitely checking out that blog! I wonder if you can get that book for free on Kindle… It’s our Christmas gift to each other this year 🙂 I’m loving writing the blog – in particular, because it brings me closer again to friends I never see. Including you! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy all the cooking you get to do.

  2. Pingback: Elegant White Bean Spirals | The Full Vine

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