It’s soup time at the Garner house. When the weather gets cold, we always make a huge pot of Sunday soup. Today, I made a pot of my healthy beans and greens soup. This soup is packed with nutrition. There are three types of beans: black beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans. We all know that silly song that we used to sing as kids…”beans, beans, they’re good for your heart…” Well, I’ll stop there, but the truth is: it’s true. Beans are good for your heart. Actually, just a half of cup of beans per day has been found to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
There are also three types of greens in this soup: kale, turnips, and cabbage. Greens are known to be packed with vitamins and minerals that have been proven to protect us from all sorts of diseases, including cancer. Kale has recently been called the super-food . All of the greens in this soup have a generous supply of vitamins, but they also have a surprising amount of calcium. That’s so important to me because I do not drink milk and osteoporosis runs in my family. I keep a close check on my bone density, and it is extra dense for my age. So, whatever I’m doing must be working. Oh, and I must say my daily servings of beans must been working, too. At my healthy check-up the other day my cholesterol was the lowest it’s ever been and my good cholesterol was 95. Yeah!!!
I created this recipe about three years ago. I wanted to have three types of beans and three types of greens. At that time, I named it “3 beans and 3 greens soup”. My friends at school may still have my emailed recipe with that title, but even though it still has three types of beans and three types of greens, I just didn’t like that title. It’s always so frustrating naming a recipe. UGH!! My point in telling you this is that you can use any three types of beans and any three types of greens. Sometimes, I use collards and sometimes spinach. At other times, I replace cannellini beans with chickpeas. This gives it a crunch. Just use what you have on hand and the mixing up of the recipe will keep it interesting.
This recipe makes a huge pot, but it’s my weight management strategy. I do this often. On the weekend…mostly Sundays… and in the winter, I make a huge pot of soup. Summer is a huge bowl of something else…I’ll share that strategy when the weather warms up. We eat it that day and have it has lunch the next day. It’s also there if I come home and I’m starved to death. I grab a small bowl of soup. This is so low in calories and it’s nutrient dense. It saves me from grabbing something unhealthy to kill the cravings. I usually don’t eat it again for supper because James will get bored with my menu. It’s lunch for a few days, between meals hold-me-over, and then I freeze the rest for hard times. There are times when I don’t feel like cooking. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but I have those days. On those days, if I don’t have something readily available, James will pick up the phone and order pizza. The smart thing to do is have something frozen to thaw for a quick fresh, healthy meal. My solution:
I like to freeze this flat so it doesn’t take up room. I write the name on the bag and date it. Just put the bag in hot water a few minutes. Then, it will be thawed enough to squeeze it out into a microwave bowl. Within five minutes, you should have fresh soup and saved yourself money and saved your diet. And about that diet thing I keep talking about. I don’t believe in diets. If you’ve read my food philosophy, diets don’t work. It’s a permanent thing: my lifetime diet. It’s just the way I choose to eat. And it’s sooooo good. I don’t miss a thing.
- 1 huge onion or 2 medium, diced (more is better than less)
- 3 carrots, cut into then strips or diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced finely
- 1 can of vegetable broth
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 bunch or Kale or 1 can
- 1 can of turnips, mustard, collards or any green available
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of white beans
- 1 can of kidney beans (I sometimes put 4 beans, this time I added pinto beans)
- 1 large can of tomato paste
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (you may want to adjust this to you health needs... or you may need more)
- sprinkle with cayenne pepper (do this to your taste...we like plenty)
- NOTE: I like to use everything fresh, but in this recipe, I've used a few cans for convenience. My recommendation is to use fresh when possible, but you can choose to use all fresh, or cans when necessary, or you can use some things fresh and some cans. Fresh is best, but do what you whatever your schedule will allow.
- In a large stock pot, med heat, saute onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and jalapeno with the broth.
- Add the raw Kale and Cabbage. Saute' some more.
- When the vegetables soften add the remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook until all vegetables are tender.
- Tip: This makes a huge pot. I keep it in the fridge for lunches for a few days. Usually, by day 3 my family has eaten it all. If not, I store what's left in freezer bags for emergency meals later.