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Cozy White Bean and Spinach Soup

This is an easy recipe for kids to help add ingredients to the pot before it boils. Make sure all helpers wash their hands before helping in the kitchen.

White beans, whole wheat pasta, and spinach are folate-rich foods. Prefer another type of bean? Use any you like, they're all rich in folate!


2 T olive oil
1 onion (medium, diced)
4 clv garlic (peeled and diced)
4 c chicken stock (you can substitute vegetable stock or water)
28 oz tomatoes, crushed (canned with their juice)
2 bay leaves
15 1⁄2 oz white beans (canned, drained and rinsed; or prepared from dried (a half of cup dried beans, soaked overnight))
1⁄4 ct whole wheat pasta (cooked to al dente)
6 oz spinach (bag of baby spinach; if using loose leaf spinach from a bundle, use 6 cups)
  red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)

Yield amount

4 Servings

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

40 minutes

Total time

45 minutes


  1. In a soup pot, add the olive oil and set heat to medium. Add the diced onion and garlic cloves. Cook until onions are softened.
  2. Add the chicken or vegetable stock (or water), crushed tomatoes with their juice, white beans, bay leaves, and - if using - crushed red pepper flakes.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the white beans are almost fork-tender. Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the spinach.
  4. Add the whole wheat pasta and spinach to the pot. Stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked and the spinach is wilted.
  5. Remove the bay leaves before eating.


Loose spinach can be very gritty (it grows in sandy soils that cling to the growing leaves), so it must be thoroughly rinsed.

In a hurry and don't have cooked pasta? Add dry pasta to the pot after it has been simmering for about 18 minutes. Cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on the shape and instructions on the package), and then add the spinach as you would in step #4 above.

Equipment you'll need:

  • Soup pot
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Can opener
  • A large spoon to stir and serve the soup
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