Spicy Bean Soup—Nutritious and Lucky!

love beans and eat your greens

If you are looking for a delicious way to start your New Year off right, I have just the thing for you. Spicy Bean Soup—delicious, healthy, and the perfect dish to cook on a cold wintery day. This nutritional superstar is bursting with a rainbow of beans and other savory ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You may be thinking “beans, shmeans . . .” but you would be missing out on a lot!

BeanSoup

Beans are a powerful source of vegetable protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and folate—whew!  They are also low fat but filling, so they make a great meatless entrée if they are joined by other plant friends on your plate. Because of their fab fiber content, they’ve been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of colon cancer—double win! And for us savvy shoppers, these beautiful beans are super cheap.

Peas and Prosperity

Now, I’m a Southern lady, and we have certain traditions down here, like eating black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity. So, to honor this tradition and to make my life easier for about 2-3 days, I add black-eyed peas to this soup and bake a cast-iron skillet of crusty, golden cornbread to go along with it. Leftovers rock so much now that I’m an adult—who knew?!? Back to the food: there’s a whole lot of heaven in one bite when that bite is made of cornbread + a dab of real Irish butter + a spoonful of these spicy beans . . . yum!! Just add a bright, crisp salad, and you will have yourself a perfectly lovely and lucky little meal.

cornbread and soup

Spicy Bean Soup

  • 2 c. dried beans (any beans you like—for example,  ½ c. black-eyed peas, ½ c. black beans, ½ c. split peas, and ½ c. kidney beans)

Rinse the beans, then put them in a large bowl or 8-c. (2 qt.) measuring bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 1-2 inches of water—those puppies will expand! Soak the beans for several hours (4 hrs. is great) or overnight. Note: If you fail to plan ahead (like I often do), you can do a “quick soak”—cover the dried beans in plenty of boiling water, cover, and let soak for about 2 hours.

Drain soaking water from the beans, then rinse in fresh water. This will help reduce the gassiness of the beans. Drain the beans again and put in a large pot. Then add:

  • 2 qts. (8 c.) water
  • 1 can mexicorn (drained)
  • 1 can Rotel canned tomatoes (Original is nice, but Hot is even better . . . if you like things spicy!)
  • 1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies (not drained)
  •  ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic (or 1 clove, minced)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Simmer for 2-3 hours, according to how tender you like your beans and how much soup liquid you like. Flavor enriches over time, which makes this bean soup an ideal leftover for about 3 days.

May your New Year be filled with blessings, joy, and love!

XO, Brooke

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