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Recipe: Refried Black Bean Soup

November 12, 2009

This one comes to us courtesy of Old El Paso.  Although I can’t recommend enough the process of cooking things from scratch and getting all of the delicate flavours of your food into what you cook, quick and easy is good.  Lately I have been able to spend time exploring recipes and cooking substantial meals, mostly on weekends.  If you are looking to find some great recipes and enjoy cooking at home, which I can’t recommend enough there are great websites on the internet with fantastic recipes.  I have used ‘Recipezaar‘ for years and it always delivers for me.    There are many other recipe sites, such as ‘Allrecipes.com‘ and ‘foodnetwork.com‘.  Explore these sites, find gourmet versions of the recipes I list here and in the book.

The recipes I list in my book and on this blog are all easy, relatively quick to make, taste great and are good for you.  That is what I am striving to deliver.  Easy to make healthy meals that you can prepare as part of your busy schedule.  As well, I want to offer meals that normal people eat, things that aren’t made up of chick peas, lentils and cottage cheese.  I have a dozen recipe books from people who offer healthy meals.  The problem is, so many of the recipes do not look appealing, at all.

So, once again I want to remind you to put your meals into your go to meal list, print out the recipe and keep it with the list.  This soup isn’t a meal in itself, at least it isn’t for me.  I would eat this with a piece of grilled chicken, with maybe a spicy mexican rub, or an open faced toasted cheese sandwich (or even better my toasted cheese and tomato sandwich-see the book).

Soup is healthy.  Soup is extremely healthy and should definitely be a part of any diet.  You should regularly include soups as often as possible.  Avoid cream based soups and potato based based soups as these aren’t healthy.    Stock based soups and water based soups are.  These soups are healthy because they are mostly water, but they taste and feel like food.

On top of home made soups, keep a bunch of Campbell’s soups in your cupboard.  I love the Chunky soups and eating a can of Chunky is a meal.  I also love the condensed Vegetable Beef soup.  Eat a full can as a meal or half a can and an open faced sandwich.  Having these in your cupboard gives you a backup meal so even if you aren’t prepared for your weekly meals, you can still eat healthy and not end up ordering pizza.

Refried Black Bean Soup:

  • 1 can (398 ml 14 fl oz)Old El Paso Refried Black Beans (always eat black beans (over pinto or kidney) if possible as they are much higher in protein)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I used beef stock, you can use vegetable stock if you are a vegetarian)
  • 300 ml fresh salsa (I use Que Pasa Salsa, medium or hot.  You can use a 440ml jar of grocery store salsa)

Put all of the ingredients into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and and then simmer without a lid for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

The soup seems a little watery and thinner than I expected, but it is an excellent soup.  It has an fantastic, delicate, light spicy flavor.  I really enjoyed it.  I have a recipe for a thicker black bean soup that looks awesome and seems pretty easy to make (although not this easy) here.

This should make 4 relatively large servings (the total calories for all 4 servings is 525 calories-27 grams of protein and 24 grams of fibre).  Add a tablespoon (not heaping) of sour cream (25 calories) to each bowl.  If you really want to make the soup look and taste great add a sprinkle of sliced green onions, a sprinkle of cheddar and jack cheeses and reserve some of the salsa to put on top (or some diced raw tomato).  I add a can of corn to the soup sometimes.  It tastes great, much sweeter and it is a little more filling but you lose a little of the delicate flavours.  Just add the corn after you bring the soup to a boil.

On a final note, these two recipes caught my attention and if I have some time on the weekend, I might try to cook them up.  These are definitely weekend soups.

Black bean vegetable soup

Black Bean Soup (I am not entirely sure what a smoked ham hock is, but if it is low fat, go for it, or substitute ham)

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