lydia's bean soup outside

With young people leaving home to attend college or graduating college and joining the real world, there is a huge wave of young folks who are finding themselves having to fend for themselves in the kitchen for the first time. 

For new college students, gone are the days of a home-cooked meal every night provided by their parents. On the budget of college students and recent college graduates, eating or ordering out and regular shopping for prepared meals and expensive ingredients at high-end grocery stores is not something that they can afford to keep up either.

For young people, the ability to shop and cook for themselves on a budget is really valuable in this day and age of high living expenses. But cooking isn’t always something that younger people are comfortable or adept at doing, so getting into the habit can be a tough hill to get over.

That is why our daughter, Lydia, whipped up this super easy bean soup recipe using simple and inexpensive ingredients you can find in the center aisle of any grocery store! With only a little bit of chopping required, this tasty college student recipe for simple bean soup can be whipped up quickly using mostly prepackaged frozen ingredients and your favorite kind of Randall Beans.

All in all, only costing around $12, this college student recipe isn’t just a great vegan-friendly way to cheaply cook several meals worth of food for yourself. It is also a great go-to recipe for expanding your comfortability in the kitchen and stretching other meals. 

Did you cook some chicken the night after you made this soup? Chop it up and add it to the soup! Want to try your hand at cooking some fish? Make this bean soup and add the fish to it to make a seafood soup!

You can always cheaply spice up the recipe over time as you get more comfortable in the kitchen. For vegan-friendly additions, we suggest trying some extra steps like adding chives, a splash of rice vinegar, hot sauce, lemon zest, or substitute water with coconut milk or vegetable broth.


  • One sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups of your favorite Randall Beans, not rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 30 oz. bag frozen shredded potatoes
  • 1 14 oz. bag frozen chopped kale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Add curry powder and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add 1/2 of the Randall Beans. Fill the jar with the remaining beans with water and add most of the bean and water mixture to the pot, leaving some beans in the jar.
  4. Mash the beans in the pot with the back of a spoon or potato masher until their texture resembles that of oatmeal.
  5. Refill jar of remaining beans with water.
  6. Add frozen potatoes and kale to the pot, heating ingredients through.
  7. Add remaining bean and water mixture.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.