Soup Beans with Cornbread & Kraut


Cook up your own soup beans on the stovetop or in the slow cooker (see Tip). These brothy beans get a kick when served with fermented cabbage and black-pepper-spiced skillet cornbread.

Soup Beans with Cornbread & Kraut
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins



  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 8 cups Gingery Vegetable Broth (see Associated Recipe) or low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 cup sauerkraut or chowchow for serving


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 cup whole-grain cornmeal

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • teaspoon ground pepper


To prepare beans:

  1. Drain and rinse beans. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat (or see Tip, below). Add onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add broth, bay leaves, thyme and the beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. (You want them to remain whole and not falling apart.) Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare cornbread:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Add oil to an 8-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven for 5 minutes.

  2. Combine cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix egg and buttermilk in a large measuring cup. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry to combine. Pour the hot oil into the batter and stir to combine, then pour the batter back into the hot skillet. Sprinkle with pepper.

  3. Bake the cornbread until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into 8 slices.

  4. Serve the beans with the cornbread and sauerkraut (or chowchow).

To make ahead:

Refrigerate beans (Step 1) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


8-inch cast-iron skillet


To cook beans in a slow cooker, combine the drained beans, onion, garlic, 5 cups broth (or water), bay leaves and thyme in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low until the beans are tender, about 6 hours. (You want them to remain whole and not falling apart.) Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Associated Recipe:

Gingery Vegetable Broth

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

317 Calories
6g Fat
53g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size generous 1 cup beans, 1 piece cornbread & 2 Tbsp. sauerkraut (or chowchow)
Calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 640mg 28%
Potassium 788mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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