I love beans! I love their versatility, their flavour and the wide variety of them.
Did you know that the world genebank holds more than 37,000 bean varieties? I know, neither did I!
This humble food doesn’t have the star status that some other foods have despite it being inexpensive, nutritious and filling.
So this week, I’m sharing with you 3 of My Favourite Winter Bean Soup Recipes – Plant-Based Spicy Chickpea and Lentil, Plant based Kidney Bean Chilli Soup and Tomato and Butterbean Soup to help you incorporate beans into your diet everyday.
These soups are super simple to make. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll see that I have soup most days for my lunch.
So why should you eat beans everyday?
Bursting with goodness, including protein, calcium, copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium as well as being a great source of iron. They also have thiamin and folic acid as well as riboflavin and vitamin B6. Talk about nutrient packed!
They’re also packed full of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which means they’re great at filling you up with essentially no calories. You should aim for at least 40g of fibre per day. You can read more about the power of fibre here.
They’re low in fat and contain predominantly unsaturated fatty acids. Just one half cup of cooked dry beans contains approximately 115 calories and provides 8 grams of protein.
Did you know that a high fibre diet may even save your life?
In a recent study people who consumed the most fibre were 19 per cent less likely to die during the study periods ranging up to a decade, compared with people who consumed the least amount of fibre.
Here are 3 of My Favourite Winter Bean Soup Recipes:
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed and then chopped
- 800 g tins of kidney beans in water, drained
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 litre bouillon or plant-based stock
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- a few drops of Tabasco - to your liking
- Cook the onion, garlic, cumin powder and chilli in 4 tablespoons of water for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Don't let them catch on, add a little more water if this is likely.
- Add all the other ingredients to thepot. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Use a countertop blender or a stick blender to puree the soup. Serve with some crunchy wholemeal bread and a refreshing green salad.
- 1 onion, brown or white chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 3 sticks celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 pint plant-based stock/broth
- 400 g tin cooked butterbeans in water, drained
- 3 tbsp grated ginger, feel free to add more if you like ginger
- 2 bay leaves
- Saute the onion with the garlic and the ginger in about two inches of cold water in a large soup pot for three minutes.
- Add the carrots, parsnips and celery to the pot. Stir and cover and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and the bay leaf. Stir and cook for a further 20 minutes until the carrots and the parsnips are cooked - use a knife or taste them to check.
- Once cooked, puree with a stick blender then add the drained butterbeans. Return to the heat and stir. If you don't like your soup thick, add a little hot water toit until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Serve in warm soup bowls, topped with toasted almonds and a few chives.
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 sticks of celery finely chopped
- 1 leek finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed, then chopped
- 2 medium courgettes finely chopped
- 200 g spring greens washed and then shredded
- 400 g can butter beans in water drained
- 400 g can cannellini beans in water drained
- 800 g cans plum tomatoes
- 1 litre plant-based bouillon / stock
- black pepper to taste
- Add two inches of cold water to a large pot then add the onions, celery, courgettes, leeks, garlic and large Bay leaf. Put the lid on the pot then cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the drained white beans to the pot with the spring greens, plum tomatoes and bouillon/stock.
- Cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. If it's too thick for you, just add some more boiling water to the pot.
- Add some freshly ground black pepper to taste then serve into warm soup bowls.
If you’re just starting out on your plant-based journey then the following articles will help you.
How to get started on your plant-based journey to learn about the power plate. It was developed by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and provides optimal health for you and your family and is brilliantly flexible so you can eat in a way that suits your taste and lifestyle whilst getting all the nutrients you need.
If you’re struggling to eat more whole grains everyday, check out my five tips to help you here: How to easily eat more whole grains everyday
A typical food plan for the day may look like this:
Oatmeal/porridge for breakfast made with water or plant-based milks such as rice milk. Topped with fresh fruit such as sliced banana. Two slices of wholemeal toast, spread with 100% fruit jams. Read about my 7 of the best ever plant-based breakfasts
Water and/or tea or coffee, black or made with plant-based milks.
Mid morning snack of fruit, or read my post on 11 simple plant based snacks to enjoy at work
For an afternoon snack remember to check out my suggestions here: 11 simple plant based snacks to enjoy at work
Now it comes to dinner. What’s quick to make, nourishing and doesn’t cost the earth? Try some of my delicious dinner recipes.