Sunday, March 20, 2016
A QUICK, SPICY FULL-MEAL BLACK BEAN AND SWEET POTATO SOUP
You might have noticed that I haven't been posting much for the last few months. Since I retired from the library where I worked for 36 years, I have been slowly trying to weed out my belongings and re-organize the storage in our small house-- particularly in my office, closets and the kitchen. So, that has kept me busy. But, aside from that, my husband and I are striving to eat less and to eat more simply-- not just because of reduced income, but also because we are getting older and need to keep an eye on our health. We are both well and active, but need to lose some weight.
Consequently, we eat homemade soup almost every day for lunch (sometimes we switch it up and have soup for dinner and a more substantial meal at lunchtime). We also eat bean dishes frequently. The following recipe is a variation on one that I wrote for Dr. Neal Bernard's Program for Reversing Heart Disease (I developed almost all of the recipes in that book.-- all virtually fat-free, low in sodium, high-fiber, vegan.) It has remained a favorite over the years and is so easy to make. (I cook my own beans of various kinds and freeze them in 2-cup quantities.) I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.
BRYANNA'S QUICK, SPICY FULL-MEAL BLACK BEAN & SWEET POTATO SOUP (Very low in fat)
The combination of black beans and sweet potatoes is always enticing, but especially so in this soup with Caribbean flavors.
4 cups cooked or canned (2/ 19 ounce cans) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cup tasty vegetarian broth
4 tsp tomato paste
3/4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce/tamari
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic granules
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 bay leaf
1 Field Roast Chipotle vegan sausage, crumbled (or use a large vegan Italian sausage and add some Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste)
4-6 green onions, chopped
1 lb sweet potato, peeled and diced
Mix together the beans, broth, tomato paste, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, garlic granules, allspice, and thyme in a blender or food processor. Puree briefly. (You can also do this inside the soup pot with a hand immersion blender.) Pour into a medium-sized pot.
Add the bay leaf, crumbled vegan sausage, green onions, and sweet potato. Bring to a boil, stirring now and then. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. (Or you could cook this in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot for about 7 minutes, and use natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.) Serve hot.
NOTE: for the garnish shown in the photos, have some cooked brown rice ready and kept warm -- short grain is great for this because it is stickier than long grain. When you have the soup served out in wide bowls or soup plates, pack a 1/2-cup measuring cup (rinsed with water before using) with the rice, pressing down so that it is compact. Overturn the measuring cup over the soup, tapping the bottom of the cup to dislodge the packed rice intact. (You may need to use a knife to help dislodge it from the cup, but I've never had a mishap with this. This time I used a straight-sided measuring cup, but a slope-sided cup makes a pretty mound and the rice may be easier to dislodge from it.) Repeat for all the servings.
Nutrition (per serving): 261 calories, 28 calories from fat, 3.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1161.5mg sodium, 677.7mg potassium, 45.2g carbohydrates, 13.3g fiber, 5.6g sugar, 16.1g protein, 7.6 points.