Kidney beans are a vital source of protein in a vegan diet. In India they refer to it as ‘poor man’s meat’. A less know fact about them is that they are an important source of iron and anti-oxidants like manganese. If you’re wondering how to replace red meat in your menus, become a fan of these legumes.
A word of caution however. Kidney beans improperly cooked or raw can cause digestive issues and are toxic. They must be soaked overnight in warm water and boiled till they soften or you can use them directly from the can as I do.
Why is it important to eat you beans??!
- Protein! Protein! Protein! One cup of boiled kidney beans (177 g) contains approximately 15 grams of protein!
- They contain good carbs! – Starchy carbs are the main nutritional component of kidney beans. They do not cause large spikes in blood sugar, making them suitable for diabetics.
- Fiber– They contain loads of fiber. However, this poses a problem for those who can not digest these fibers properly leading to bloating and stomach aches!
- Storehouse of vital nutrients – iron, manganese, potassium and Vit K1 (to name a few)
- As a rich source of ferment-able fiber, kidney beans may promote colon health and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
This wholesome soup recipe can be modified to suit your taste. Add in some crunchy croutons or garnish it with fresh grated cheese. You could even Indianize the soup by adding in cumin powder, coriander powder & cayenne and skip the addition of thyme and basil. You could substitute kale with spinach as well. This version of the soup is pretty basic. Hope you like the recipe!
1 can white kidney beans (15 ounce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pinch of ground pepper
1 red onion (chopped)
1 stalk celery
1 red bell pepper (chopped into small pieces)
1 carrot chopped
1 zucchini chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup vegetable broth ( 16 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
cilantro for garnish
2 cups water
1/2 cup kale chopped
salt to taste
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon agave
In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium.
Cook onion and celery in oil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, continually stirring. To this add in the veggies- bell pepper, zucchini and carrot.
Once the veggies cook, stir in beans, vegetable broth, pepper, basil and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
With a slotted spoon carefully remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture from soup and keep aside.
In blender at low speed, blend remaining soup in small batches until smooth. ( This adds the thick creamy texture to the soup)
Once blended pour soup back into a pot and stir in reserved beans.
Bring to a boil, stirring now and then.
Stir in spinach and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice, salt and honey/agave.
Remove from heat and serve hot with cilantro garnish.