A healthy soup that satisfies

Soup. The word often means watery, thin side dish that doesn’t fill you up or leaves you hungry soon after. Otherwise, it means high fat, cream based soups that don’t help your diet. Well, have I got the cure for all that! It’s a bean stew loaded with healthy veggies like tomato, garbanzo beans/chick peas, onion, and spinach. Yes, spinach. It’s low fat, filling, and it tastes great! Even my kids are excited when they see me getting out this recipe.

I got this recipe from a magazine (Prevention’s Biggest Loser edition, May 2010) a few years ago. I’d been reluctant to try it because, well frankly, it was a bit outside our normal. It uses spices like cumin and chili powder. You need fire roasted tomatoes. And spinach. While we like spinach, the idea of it in a soup was rather off putting. HA! If I’d just tried it, we would have a new favorite soup that’s actually healthy long ago. Instead, I stayed in my comfort zone.

While looking around for recipes to fit our new clean eating, I opened this old magazine again and decided to give the bean stew a try. Not only does it taste great, but is super healthy and best of all, easy to make.

BEAN STEW

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion chopped

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

28 oz (1 large or 2 regular size cans) fire roasted tomatoes

3 cans drained and rinsed (or 4.5 cups cooked from dry) garbanzo beans/chick peas

4 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I used freeze dried)

3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (3 big handfuls), chopped kale, or swiss chard

Saute onion in olive oil until tender, add garlic and cook 1 more minute.

Add spices and tomatoes. Simmer about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups (2 cans) of the beans and 2 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer.

While that is heating, put the remaining beans, broth, and cilantro in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add mixture to stew. Add spinach and heat until wilted. Stir well and serve hot.

According to the magazine, each 1 cup serving has 160 calories, 8g protein, 26g carbs, 7g fiber, 3g fat, 0 staturated fat and cholesterol, 330mg sodium. It’s also naturally packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, zinc, and calcium.

So if you’re looking for a dish to make on “meatless Mondays” or a hearty soup on a cold day, give this bean stew a try. Come out of your comfort zone. Oh, and did I mention it only takes about half an hour to make? No more cooking all day for soup with this recipe. So it could be a great option on days you are short on time instead of mac&cheese casserole.

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