Plant Based Soup Recipe: Squash & Heirloom Bean by Chef Will

recipe whole harvest

On a recent Zoom session with Whole Harvest customers, Chef Will showed us how easily anyone can whip together a delicious whole food plant-based soup recipe.

This delicious whole food plant-based Squash & Heirloom Bean Soup, created by Chef Will Harris, is a healthy and easy dinner option.

Zero Oil and Low Sodium

Made with zero oil and less than a teaspoon of salt, this dish offers incredible flavor without compromising your heart health. Follow these simple steps to prepare this delightful soup and savor its warm goodness. 



Cook time: 35 minutes Serving: 2-4



  • ½ medium-sized white onion, chopped small
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped small
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash, large chunk
  • 1 cup cooked heirloom beans 
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed
  • ⅛ tsp chili flake
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 qts vegetable broth 
  • 5 cracks on the peppermill
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs (optional)


  1. Prepare the ingredients accordingly.
  2. In a heavy bottom, medium-sized saucepan or pot, sweat the vegetables starting with the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and salt over medium heat.
  3. Add chili flake and fennel seed.
  4. Turn down the temperature to ensure that the browning process doesn't happen too quickly. Stir often.
  5. Add the squash and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  6. After about 10 minutes, add the broth, beans, and pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a light simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  8. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  9. Enjoy!

Why this Plant Based Soup Recipe Supports a Healthy Heart Diet

  1. Low in Salt: As Dr. Neal Barnard emphasizes, excessive sodium intake is a major risk factor for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. Our recipe uses only a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, keeping sodium levels low without compromising flavor.

  2. Zero Oil: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's research shows that oils, including olive and coconut, contribute to cardiovascular disease. Our soup is oil-free, reducing the risk of heart disease.

  3. Plant Proteins: The heirloom beans in this soup are an excellent source of plant-based protein. As Dr. Colin Campbell's The China Study suggests, plant proteins can help lower blood cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

  4. High in Fiber: Dr. Will Bulsiewicz highlights the importance of fiber for heart health. Fiber can lower cholesterol levels and helps maintain a healthy weight. The vegetables and beans in this soup are packed with fiber.

  5. Antioxidant-Rich: According to Dr. Michael Greger, a diet high in antioxidants can help protect against heart disease. The butternut squash, onions, and carrots in this soup are loaded with antioxidants.

  6. Whole Foods: Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai have shown that diets rich in whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes like beans, can help prevent and even reverse cognitive decline. Good brain health supports heart health, given the two are often interconnected.

  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Dr. Michael Klaper notes the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. While most people associate these healthy fats with fish, they're also found in many plant foods, including beans.

  8. Lifestyle Medicine: Dr. Dean Ornish's research emphasizes the power of comprehensive lifestyle changes, including a whole-foods, plant-based diet, for reversing even severe coronary heart disease.

There you have it, our Squash & Heirloom Bean Soup isn't just a tasty meal—it's a bowl full of heart-healthy benefits, backed by the most respected names in plant-based nutrition.

Chef Will Harris's Squash & Heirloom Bean Soup not only delights the palate but also promotes heart health with its oil-free and low-sodium preparation.

With simple steps and a short cook time, this whole food plant-based soup offers a warm and comforting meal option for 2-4 people.

Whether you're following a plant-based diet or simply looking for a nourishing and flavorful dinner, this soup is a must-try.

So, grab your ingredients, follow the easy instructions, and relish in the heartwarming goodness of this delicious Squash & Heirloom Bean Soup.

Bon appétit!


References for Studies Noted

  1. Low in Salt: Barnard, N. D., Cohen, J., Jenkins, D. J. A., Turner-McGrievy, G., Gloede, L., Jaster, B., ... & Talpers, S. (2006). A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 29(8), 1777-1783. Link

  2. Zero Oil: Esselstyn Jr, C. B. (2007). Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. New York: Penguin Group.

  3. Plant Proteins: Campbell, T. C., & Campbell, T. M. (2006). The China study: the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health. BenBella Books.

  4. High in Fiber: Bulsiewicz, W. (2020). Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome. Penguin.

  5. Antioxidant-Rich: Greger, M., & Stone, G. (2015). How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. New York: Flatiron Books.

  6. Whole Foods: Sherzai, D., & Sherzai, A. (2020). The Alzheimer's Solution: A revolutionary guide to how you can prevent and reverse memory loss. Simon and Schuster.

  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Klaper, M. (2019). Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. [Web log post]. Link

  8. Lifestyle Medicine: Ornish, D., Scherwitz, L. W., Billings, J. H., Brown, S. E., Gould, K. L., Merritt, T. A., ... & Brand, R. J. (1998). Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA, 280(23), 2001-2007. Link

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