Easy and Healthy Bean-Vegetable Soup

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How about a simple and healthy bean soup recipe while the weather is still cold? I found this plain bean mixture at Fresh Market, but you can find bean mixes at all local grocery stores. I don’t use the seasoning packets that come with them, just the recipe below. Just look for a 1-pound bag, and this recipe will be a breeze. It’s so hearty, easy and flavorful. The hardest part is that you have to soak the beans overnight. Stay warm and enjoy!

 

Bean Vegetable Soup

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage can be added to this.

Prep: 20 minutes

Stand: overnight

Cook: 2 hours

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

1 pound bean soup mix

6 cups water

4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup diced carrot

3/4 cup diced celery

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation

1. Soak the bean mix overnight in plenty of water; rinse and drain.

2 Add beans to water and bring to a boil; simmer 1 hour. 

3. If adding sausage,  saute sausage in a large saute pan until browned. Add sausage and remaining ingredients; simmer 2 hours. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan before serving, if desired.

Healthy and Quick Chicken-Rice Soup

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After I posted my chowder recipe yesterday, my friend, Kevin, (who is a well known physical therapist for professional athletes) asked me for a recipe for Chicken and Rice Soup without cream. Kevin eats healthier than most people I know. He eats salmon at least three times a week and has an incredible palate for food. So, when I decided to develop this Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, I really had to think it out carefully with the healthiest ingredients. This soup is filled with fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, low-fat and low-sodium chicken broth, lean chicken, and a mixture of brown, wild and white rice. It takes less than 45 minutes to prepare, and it’s the ultimate way to feed the soul whether you’re under the weather or not.

 

Healthy Chicken Rice Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

11/2 cups diced carrots

11/2 cups diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced leeks

1 tablespoon olive oil

Vegetable cooking spray

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 cups organic low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

1 cup rice blend mix of white, brown and wild rice, uncooked

21/2 cups cooked chopped chicken (I used white meat only from rotisserie chicken)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

1. Saute first 4 ingredients in a hot oil in a large lightly greased Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, mushrooms and pepper; saute 1 more minute. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add rice, stirring well. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Stir in parsley and thyme before serving.