CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Beans and legumes rank near the top of the list among the most nutritious vegetables. Most professional agree that they are a key food group for helping prevent disease and for optimizing health, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular and blood sugar problems, including Type 2 diabetes.

That fact is borne out in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, which recommend 1.5 cups of legumes per week within a nonvegetarian diet and 3 cups per week within a vegetarian diet.

Black beans are among the most nutritious in this food group. From a single, 1-cup serving of black beans come nearly 15 grams of fiber and more than 15 grams of protein, which makes them a great addition to vegetable soup.

The following recipe for Black Bean Vegetable Soup is quick and easy. How fast can you say “Soup’s On!”

Black Bean Vegetable Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cabbage, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1 8¾-ounce can whole-kernel corn
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 14½-ounce can stewed tomatoes
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir carrots, cabbage, onion and garlic until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir chili powder and cumin into onion mixture; cook and stir until evenly coated, about 2 minutes.
Pour broth over onion mixture and add one-half of the black beans, corn, and black pepper. Bring broth mixture to a boil.
Blend tomatoes and remaining 1½ cans black beans together in a food processor or blender until smooth; pour into broth mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

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