The Great Life Cookbook: Exclusive Recipe for “Kidney Bean & Yam Soup”

February 27, 2014

Taste the magic yourself: try this exclusive recipe from The Great Life Cookbook for “Kidney Bean & Yam Soup.” When you’ve finished scraping the bowl for one last drop, click this link and buy the book using the 20% discount coupon code “Frisch Kitchen.”

Emma Frisch The Great Life Cookbook: Exclusive Recipe for "Kidney Bean & Yam Soup Recipe

I’ve spent years trying to distill the joy and passion I have for cooking into one smart, distinctive phrase. I’ve played with a whole thesaurus of words, but as a dear friend likes to remind me, “it’s just semantics.”

Lewis and Priscilla helped me discover the simple, inescapable reason I love food nearly as much as I love my mamma. I make friends – family! – through food. Real friends, from whom I draw inspiration and confide in. Friends who share stories from their lives, and entertain big ideas and collaboration. Friends who invite me into their home and their culture in the most intimate form (yes, more intimate than sex!) – a meal. Friends who accept a mug of tea and a bowl of warm olives as an offering to be part of my community, and I of theirs. Such friendship is sustained over time and distance through food, whether a reuniting meal or a phone call to coax out a killer recipe you want to try at home.

Food – in all it’s colorful expressions – binds us to people, past and present, and the natural world we live in. It’s real, it’s emotional, it’s sensual, it’s visceral.

Emma Frisch The Great Life Cookbook: Exclusive Recipe for "Kidney Bean & Yam Soup Ingredient

Lewis and Priscilla have mastered the art of food and friendship, and now, they’re sharing their recipes for success in The Great Life Cookbook. For more than 17 years, they have opened their home every Friday evening to family and community members for a three course macrobiotic feast of gluten-free, vegan, nutritious and soul-sparking food. That’s right! The furniture gets moved into the basement and tables with fresh bouquets pop up throughout the living room, kitchen and foyer. On average, fifty people arrive and nestle around the bright linens, flickering candles and seasonal centerpieces. It feels like home. Read more about Lewis and Priscilla, with pictures from a typical Friday evening – which is anything BUT typical.

Sweet memories from one Friday eve at macro dinner.


Kidney Bean & Yam Soup

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Garnet or jewel yams are beautiful and delicious in this soup. Red chili beans substitute nicely for the kidney beans.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • Red kidney beans – 4 cups uncooked red kidney beans
  • Kombu or kelp – 1 four-inch strip kombu or kelp
  • Yellow onions – About 4 cups medium, diced
  • Water – 2-3 tablespoons
  • Dried basil – 1 tablespoon
  • Carrots – About 3 cups medium size, diced
  • Large yams (sweet potatoes) – About 10 cups, peeled and diced
  • Water – 3 quarts
  • Sea salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper – Dash of black pepper
  • Brown rice miso – 3 tablespoons
  • Sweet white miso – 3 tablespoons
  • Spinach – ½ pound fresh spinach


  1. Soak beans overnight with 8 cups of water and the kombu.
  2. Rinse beans and place in a large pressure cooker, or large pot, with kombu or kelp and fresh water to cover beans by 1 to 2 inches.
  3. Bring to boil and skim off any foam. Secure lid and pressure-cook for 45 minutes or less depending on your pressure cooker. Boiling in a pot needs at least 60 minutes of cooking time. After beans are cooked, drain and save bean water. Dice sea vegetable.
  4. In a large 8 quart pot, sauté onions and basil in water for a few minutes until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, and any combination of bean water from the cooked beans, along with fresh water that adds up to 3 quarts.
  6. Bring to boil and then turn the heat down to simmer; cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Add beans, diced sea vegetable, salt, pepper and misos, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  8. Remove stems from spinach, chop well, and garnish each bowl of soup with the spinach and serve.

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