Healthy Dinner Recipe: Black Bean and Vegetable Soup

Black Bean and Vegetable SoupPacked with protein and nutrients, black bean and vegetable soup is a complete healthy dinner meal that can be easily be prepared any time of the week or day. A recipe adapted from CraftCycle, this dish is filled with awesome flavors and wonderful textures that is sure to give comfort and pleasure. In healthy recipes, summer squash, zucchini, black beans, tomatoes, button mushrooms, and whole kernel corn are sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and onions, seasoned with cumin and black pepper and simmered in chicken broth and tomato juice. The result is a colorful and aromatic dish that is full of flavor and texture.

High in fiber and protein and rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and folic acid, black beans can be made a regular part of healthy diet. They are also high in antioxidants and contain at least five different flavonoids called anthocyanins, the same ones found in red grapes and red wine. Black beans also have omega-3 fatty acids more than most legumes provide.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 medium white onion, diced, 2 small cloves garlic, minced, 7 large button mushrooms, quartered, 1 red pepper, chopped, 1 cup summer squash, coarsely chopped, 1 cup zucchini, coarsely chopped, 1 can (8 oz) diced tomatoes, 2 cans (16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained, 2 qt. tomato juice, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, 1 can (16 oz.) whole kernel corn, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Preparation Instructions: Black Bean and Vegetable Soup Recipe

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add pepper, squash, and zucchini. Sauté until tender, approx. 5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients, except the cilantro. Bring to a boil. Partially cover and simmer for approx. 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add cilantro and serve.

When cooked right, black beans become tender, plump, fluffy and taste creamy. Fresh or dried black beans are better than the canned varieties although you can use any variety for making this recipe. If you are using dried beans, make sure to sort them out on top of a clean surface and disgraced any stones or twigs. Depending on how mature the black beans are, they can take two hours or longer to cook. Fresh beans will cook faster because they contain more moisture. Soak dried beans in water overnight to give them moisture and make them easier to cook. Cover the beans with two inches of water and allow them to expand in the container. After soaking, drain them well and rinse with fresh cold water before cooking. You can also boil the beans for two minutes and allow it to sit for two hours and drain before cooking. If you want a faster cooking time, use the canned black beans as suggested in this recipe.



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