Friday, March 1, 2013

15 bean soup...

This soup was amazing.  I originally was worried about flavor but it turned out to be rich.  I made the vegetarian recipe and ate it with a bread stick and a bit of Parmesan cheese which was perfect.  Healthy and tasty and comforting!

  • 1-lb bag 15 bean blend (use only the beans; discard seasoning packet), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 carrots, sliced into round (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 8 oz. ham steak, cut into 1/2" pieces (approx. 2 cups); omit for vegan/vegetarian version
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (may reduce or omit for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (may reduce to 1/8 cup or omit if lower sodium soup is desired)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian version)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans no salt diced tomatoes (fire roasted recommended, if available)
  • 4 leaves (7-8 oz) Swiss chard or kale, stems removed, cut in 1/2" wide pieces
  • salt to taste
Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray or olive oil. Add beans, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ham, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, bay leave, soy sauce, chicken broth, and 1 can diced tomatoes. Cover, and placed filled slow cooker insert in refrigerator overnight (8-12 hours).* Remove from refrigerator, return to slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in Swiss chard and remaining can of diced tomatoes, cover and cook 20-30 minutes more, until Swiss chard is cooked. Salt to taste, if needed.

*If you prefer, you can soak the beans in water overnight, rinse and drain them, and add them with the other ingredients to the slow cooker the next day.

Nutritional Information for 1 cup of soup:
--With ham and chicken broth. 175 calories, 2g fat, 381mg sodium, 27.4g carbs, 6.8g fiber, 3.8g sugars, 11.8g protein. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4.
--Without ham and using vegetable broth. 160 calories, 2g fat, 331mg sodium, 30.3g carbs, 7.6g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 8.9g protein. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4.

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