Spiced Bean and Rice Soup

I have been putting this garlic yogurt sauce on everything. I mixed it with hot sauce on eggs for breakfast. I added herbs and dolloped it on grilled chicken. I’ve even used it as a sauce for pasta. Please welcome my new favorite condiment, sauce and the jumping off point for so many recipes: the garlic yogurt sauce.

Spiced Bean and Rice Soup

So maybe I should start talking about the soup. You know…the bulk of the ingredients, effort and substance in this recipe. This recipe actually was based on (at least in the beginning) several Italian recipes from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking. I was trying to find a way to make cabbage delicious and I think I succeeded. Then things went awry and I added spices and roasted red peppers and we were no longer in Italy but somewhere else far, far away. But it all works, because the spices are subtle and the vegetables layer in a quick-ish version of homemade broth. When topped with greek yogurt and pistachios the soup is perfected with crunchy and tangy notes. Also, be warned. This recipe make A LOT. I will be freezing quantities for much anticipated later enjoyment. I didn’t want to leave behind 1/2 a head of cabbage or bunch of kale so I made a large batch. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you only have a normal size large pot or don’t want to feed an army.

Spiced Bean and Rice Soup with Cabbage and Red Peppers

  • Servings: 10+people
  • Time: ~2 hours


  • 16 oz dried lima beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 head cabbage (green or savoy), shredded
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced or one can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 12 oz can roasted red peppers, drained and diced or processed in a food processor
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 8 cups broth
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups greek yogurt, preferably 2%
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
    chopped pistachios

Special Equipment Needed: None


Place lima beans in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a rapid boil for ~2 minutes then remove from heat and set aside. Let sit for at least an hour to soak.

Meanwhile pour olive oil into a very large pot (stock pot preferred). Add onions for 2-3 minutes, turning over once or twice (bring veggies from the bottom to the top). Add the garlic, cabbage and kale is series cooking 2-3 minutes after each addition and turn over the veggies occasionally. Add the tomatoes, spices and roasted red peppers then cover with a approximate 50/50 mix of broth and water until the veggies are covered by 2-3 inches. Simmer for ~30 minutes or longer partially covered.

When the lima beans are done soaking rinse thoroughly and add to the pot with the rice and remaining broth and water. Bring to a boil, than lower to a simmer partially covered for one hour or until the beans and rice are tender.

For toppings mix the greek yogurt and garlic together and let sit for at least a half an hour. Top soup with yogurt and pistachios and serve.

Spiced Bean and Rice Soup

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