Soups are a good way to stave off extra pounds (the water or broth bases make you feel full) and they add a variety of nutritious ingredients to your diet. The star ingredient in this delicious, low-calorie soup? Black beans.
What are the benefits of black beans?
Black beans are one of the most nutritious types of legumes. They are packed with filling fiber and protein, plus free radical-fighting antioxidants. In fact, a study that appeared in the American Chemical Society journal shows that black beans are higher in antioxidants than any other type of bean—making them one of the best antioxidant foods you can put on your plate (or in your bowl!). The study also found that one type of antioxidant, anthocyanins, were especially active in black beans. These potent antioxidants give foods their pigment, and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. What’s more, research indicates that these antioxidants can prevent skin aging and UV-induced skin damage.
Combining black beans with onion, green bell peppers and garlic (which are also rich in antioxidants) makes this delicious Cuban black bean soup recipe one of the most antioxidant-rich foods.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ quarts low-salt chicken broth
5 ounces dry black beans, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large, heavy soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, parsley and garlic and sauté for 6 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, black beans, oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let soup simmer for 55 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove from heat and let soup cool.
- Purée about half of the soup, 2 cups at a time, in a blender at low speed or in a food processor.
- Return purée to pot, stirring into remaining soup. Stir over low heat until warmed.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings.