Bean Chowder Recipe

This bean chowder recipe makes a hearty and colorful soup - the perfect meal on a cold day!

To make this an even more economical meal, soak and cook your own dried beans.

You can use any variety of miso in this navy bean soup recipe. (What is miso, you ask? It's a paste made from fermented rice, barley or soybeans - but it's actually much more appealing than it sounds! If you are new to miso, try one of the milder varieties. In general, the lighter misos have a milder taste - so look for a white miso.)

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • olive oil
    • garlic
    • bay leaves
    • canned navy beans
    • canned beans
    • salt
    • pepper
    • dried parsley
    • nutritional yeast flakes

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • onions
    • frozen corn
    • miso

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • carrots
  • white potatoes

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a large soup pot with a lid
    • a cutting board and sharp knife

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a garlic press (if not, mince the garlic instead)
    • a whisk for stirring in the miso
    • measuring cups and spoons (if not, just estimate)
    • a metal strainer for rinsing canned beans
    • a vegetable brush

    The bean chowder recipe

    1 Tbsp/15 mL olive oil

    1 cup/250 mL minced onions

    1 clove garlic, pressed

    2 carrots, diced

    2 medium potatoes, diced

    4 cups/1 L water

    1 bay leaf

    4 cups/1 L cooked navy beans

    1 cup/250 mL corn kernels

    1/2 tsp/2 mL salt

    1/2 tsp/2 mL pepper

    1 tsp/5 mL dried parsley

    1 Tbsp/15 mL nutritional yeast flakes

    1 Tbsp/15 mL miso

    In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
    Add the onions and sauté them until soft.

    Add the garlic, carrots and potatoes.
    Sauté for about 5 minutes.

    Add the water and the bay leaf.

    Cover and bring to a boil.
    Reduce heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender but not mushy (about 20 minutes).

    Add the beans, corn, salt and pepper.
    Simmer until everything is heated through (about 5 minutes).

    Remove from heat.

    Remove and discard the bay leaf.

    Add the parsley and nutritional yeast flakes.
    Stir to mix.

    Add the miso.
    Whisk and stir until it dissolves.

    Serve hot.


    • Use another vegetable oil in place of the olive oil.

    • Use red potatoes instead of white.

    • Use canned corn, or fresh corn kernels, instead of frozen.

    • Use1 Tbsp/15 mL fresh parsley instead of dried.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Experiment with different varieties of beans instead of, or mixed with, navy beans. Try pinto beans, or romano beans, or white kidney beans, or whatever mild-flavored beans are available in your area.


    • If your potatoes are thin-skinned, there is no need to peel them. Just scrub them well.

    • If you don't have a bay leaf or nutritional yeast on hand, you can leave them out without changing the taste significantly.

    • There is no need to thaw the frozen corn before adding it to the soup.

    • Rinse canned beans well under running water to remove salt and other additives.

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this dish with