Posted on by Paula Gallagher
Sometimes you just need a bowl of soup. Soups can be comforting and nourishing, are a great way to pack in lots of different foods, and usually are very budget friendly. I made this one last weekend when we got our first snow and then again last night because it was so good. The best part about this recipe is the leftover lunch soup – because second day soup is even better. You will want to make extra and store away the leftovers for lunch and quick dinners all week. It gets better and better.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color, and is also shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention. Cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene, making it easier for the body to absorb. Since tomatoes aren’t in season, I used canned tomatoes, making this recipe even easier.
Beans are a staple in my house and they really should be a staple in every house. Canned or dried beans are inexpensive and offer so much nutritional goodness. Beans are an excellent source of protein, but they also contain protective fiber. I thickened this soup with half of the beans blended, and half left whole for texture.
Spinach is incredibly nutritious, containing vitamins A, C and K, manganese, magnesium, folate and iron, as well as flavonoids that have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers. If you don’t have fresh spinach, frozen will do in a pinch. If you're not a spinach fan, throw in kale or Swiss chard instead.
This soup is a great example of how having certain items in your pantry on a regular basis can help you make a healthy, vitamin-packed meal in less time than it would take you to order a pizza. I promise you that this delicious soup will be a repeat, too.
If you want to make this a little heartier, throw in a cup of cooked orzo at the end of the cooking process and let it warm through. Serve it with a chunk of bread.
Hearty Tomato, Bean and Spinach Soup
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 - 28 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked or canned navy beans
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cooked orzo (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and stir frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent. This may take about 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and juice from the can, bring to a boil and maintain a strong boil for 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth and vinegar and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in chopped spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked orzo at this point, if you choose.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with a hearty loaf of bread.
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