Posted Nov 20, 2008

If America is truly a melting pot, soup often reflects the best flavors of our immigrant cultures.

The Star’s Southwestern Black Bean Soup is a fiber-rich soup based on two of the world’s most common pantry staples: beans and rice. Beans and rice form a complete protein. When paired with a grocery list of nutrient-rich vegetables, you have a bowl brimming with good nutrition.

Like wheat bread, brown rice has more vitamins and minerals than white rice. A whole grain, brown rice adds insoluble fiber to the diet and is also an excellent source of manganese, a trace mineral that supports a healthy nervous system. Brown rice is also a good source of selenium and vitamin B6.

Beans are a hearty, non animal source of protein that can help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and prevent certain cancers. Beans also help stabilize blood sugars and help dieters feel full longer.

Red peppers add color, texture, flavor and powerful antioxidants, including beta-carotene, which protects against certain cancers and heart disease, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene. A diet high in beta-carotene may cut your risk of cardiovascular disease in half.

Corn provides folate, a B vitamin that may reduce birth defects, and thiamin, a B vitamin that helps the body convert food to energy. A deficiency of thiamin results in fatigue.

Fresh salsa adds more vitamins and minerals, as well as flavor to the soup.

Pump it up: Although this soup does not contain meat, we chose canned chicken broth over canned vegetable broth because it contains less sodium. If you prefer a vegetarian version, feel free to swap.


Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 cup brown rice

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

1 (8-ounce) can no-salt – added tomato sauce

1 cup salsa

2 cups water

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon leaf oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in red pepper, and saute 1 minute. Stir in zucchini, rice, broth, tomato sauce, salsa, water and seasonings. Cover, heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in beans and corn. Simmer 15 minutes, or until vegetables and rice are tender. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with minced cilantro.

Per serving (based on 10): 158 calories (13 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 230 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

Date: Nov 18, 2008

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This