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Boston Bean Soup

1 cup dried pinto beans, or 2 cans (15 oz. each) cooked pintos, drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 rib celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 oz.) reduced-sodium, fat-free beef broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. If using canned beans, ignore this step. If using dried beans, place in small Dutch casserole. Add 3 cups cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and soak 1 hour. Drain well.

2. In medium pan mix together beans, tomatoes, celery, onion, bay leaf and broth. Cover and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are quite soft, 60 to 75 minutes for dried beans, 20 minutes for canned. Let hot soup sit, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

3. Pureť half the soup in blender. Recombine with remaining soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 200 calories, less than 1 g. total fat (less than 1g. saturated fat), 38 g. carbohydrate, 12 g. protein, 13 g. dietary fiber, 287 mg. sodium.

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