There are thousands of health-promoting, naturally occurring substances found exclusively in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research shows that the more plants and, therefore, the more phytochemicals you eat, the lower your risk of cancer and other diseases. Try this hearty plant-based soup for half the calories and significantly less sodium than canned varieties. Fiber-rich cannellini beans are full of iron, magnesium and folate and lend substance to this broth-based soup. Colorful carrots and spinach provide beneficial carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Garlic, leeks and cumin add a burst of flavor, but did you know they also give you several anticancer benefits as well? Top it all off with whole-wheat couscous and you’ve got a great variety of healthful ingredients in one bowl in under 20 minutes.
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 4 leeks, bulb only, chopped (rinsed very well)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1/2 tsp. dried mint leaves
- 2-3 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 (16 oz.) cans fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (16 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic and carrots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add dried mint and cumin. Stir until fragrant about 2 more minutes.
Stir in chicken broth, beans and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low.
Stir in couscous. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Remove bay leaf. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings
Per serving: 170 calories, 2.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 520 mg sodium.