Winter is finally here in Southern California!  Everyone is so thankful for the rain that we so desperately need.  With the rain and colder weather, we naturally start craving comfort foods to warm our bellies and souls.  However, trying to satisfy that comfort food craving and still eat healthy doesn’t always go together.   But I found a great bean soup recipe on Pinterest which I modified to create a healthier version.   (No one in my family follows recipes---it’s genetic, I guess!)  

It can be challenging to eat vegan or vegetarian because many of the dishes contain too many carbs and sugars that can lead to weight gain.  What I like about this soup is that the only carbs come from the cannellini beans and these beans are low-calorie and nutrient-rich. According to Positive Health Wellness, cannellini beans are a good source of fiber, protein, calcium and iron.   Also, there are a lot of healthy green vegetables in this soup. This dish is so well-balanced and filling that you don’t need to have anything else with it---it's a meal in itself!  I hope you and your family enjoy it and share with your friends!

Tambra’s Winter Vegan Vege & Bean Soup

Serves 6-8    

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

 Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 6 quart or larger soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary. Cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring the contents to a boil, then turn the heat down to low.
  4. Add the chopped kale. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of beans vegetables for texture.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

 Serve hot!  Namaste!

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