As a long-time vegetarian, there is no greater staple in my diet than beans. Black beans in particular are very high in protein, fiber, folate, and antioxidants, along with numerous vitamins and minerals. To my daughter’s delight, I was feeding her pureed black beans at six months of age! They pair well with brown rice and vegetables and can be used in everything from soups and salads to quesadillas and burritos.
Besides their versatility and flavor, black beans aid in regulating blood sugar and the digestive track, improving cardiovascular health, and even preventing cancer thanks to their eight different flavonoids and high phytochemical content.
I can’t get enough of them and always have a few cans on-hand in my pantry. To stretch your dollar, buy dried beans and soak overnight in water before using. Just be sure to dump the water you soaked them in and rinse the beans thoroughly. This will eliminate much of the “toot” that gives beans a bad rap. In addition, the more often you eat them, the better your body adjusts to digesting them.
A batch of black bean vegetable soup is a fast, nutritious and tasty way to feed the family. I especially love to prepare mine in a slow cooker, tossing the ingredients in and leaving them to simmer for hours while I go about my day. There is nothing better than coming home after school, work or play to the aroma of freshly made soup ready for eating.
Pureeing a portion of it gives it a lovely, creamy texture. Serve with hearty bread or whole wheat tortillas. I promise you won’t be disappointed, and it’s kid-friendly even for the smallest of babes!
- 1 tbls. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 c. corn
- 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
- 1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
- (2) 15 oz. cans black beans
- 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 c. vegetable stock
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- Cilantro and sour cream for garnish
- If using the stovetop: In a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add corn, carrots, green pepper and sauté five minutes more. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, cumin, thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes. Puree three cups of soup and return to pot. Stir in lime juice just before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sour cream.
- If opting for the slow cooker: Place all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Puree three cups of soup and return to slow cooker. Stir in lime juice just before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sour cream.
If you haven’t heard, we’re having a serious vegetable competition over here at Don’t Panic Mom. We’re having guest vegetable experts all week trying to sell us omnivores on vegetables. Show them some love and try their recipes. Then you can help determine the winner of the ultimate vegetable ambassador award, the coveted 2013 Top Veg Head. Rate each recipe (see those cute stars above?) based on the following criteria:
- Taste (up to 3 stars)
- Easy to Find Ingredients (up to 3 stars)
- Ease to Prepare (up to 3 stars)
Will Kim Daly’s Black Bean Vegetable Soup be the one?
Denver-based Kim Daly, a.k.a SoulMomma, has been a vegetarian for 20 years and raises her preschool-aged daughter vegetarian as well. In addition to discovering delicious recipes, she can be found hiking with her family, striking a yoga pose anywhere she can, and striving to live an eco-friendly existence. Learn to nourish your body, your soul and the planet on her blog, The Soulicious Life.