Black Bean Soup: Hearty & Healthy
One of my favorite autumn recipes is my Black Bean Soup. This is one of my go to cold weather recipes. You can keep it vegetarian or add leftover chicken, steak, pork or turkey to bulk it up and make it a more complete meal. It’s easy to make and freezes well. It also makes a great game day appetizer.
Beans and legumes are some of the most underrated foods on the planet. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals. There is good evidence that they can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut
Beans contain both soluble and insoluble types of fiber. The fiber content of beans allows the digestive system to break them down easily and absorb their nutrients, such as protein and carbohydrates, slower. The slow digestion of legume based carbohydrates can help regulate the blood sugar level. As a result, they are a highly beneficial food for people with blood sugar imbalances or diabetes. The fiber, itself, can help regulate bowel function and lower cholesterol.
Legumes with the highest fiber content are black beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, and navy beans.
Beans have many other nutrients we need but are particularly important for menopausal women. These nutrients included calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Calcium and magnesium promote bone health, and potassium helps regulate the heartbeat.
All three minerals are important in maintaining healthy muscle, controlling fatigue and mood swings, and promoting endurance and stamina. Legumes are also very high in iron and vitamin B complex. Sufficient iron intake is particularly important for teenage girls, pregnant women, and women with bleeding problems who are transitioning into menopause.
This black bean soup has many health benefits. It’s also filling and comforting during the cold and blustery months.
Black Bean Soup
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup water, chicken or vegetable Stock
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 4 cups Black Beans (do not rinse)
- 1 tsp. salt & pepper
- Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
Sauté onion, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Add tomatoes and water (or stock). Cover and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add black beans and their liquid and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Puree half the soup in a blender and return to pot. (If the soup is too thick add water)
Heat for additional 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with dollop of yogurt