Summer is the perfect time to enjoy light, refreshing meals that don’t weigh us down. One dish that fits the bill is summer white bean soup. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but it’s also packed with nutrients that keep us feeling energized and satisfied throughout the day.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of white bean soup, share a recipe for a delicious summer version of the dish, and provide tips for customizing it to suit your tastes.
Benefits of White Bean Soup
White bean soup is a nutritious meal that offers a range of health benefits. Here are just a few reasons to add it to your summer meal rotation:
Rich in Fiber
White beans are packed with fiber, which is essential for maintaining good digestive health. A single cup of cooked white beans contains over 16 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the recommended daily intake for adults.
High in Protein
White beans are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body. A cup of cooked white beans contains around 15 grams of protein.
Low in Fat
White beans are naturally low in fat, making them a great choice for anyone looking to reduce their overall fat intake. Plus, the little fat they do contain is mostly unsaturated, which is the healthy kind.
Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
White beans are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients are important for maintaining good overall health and preventing chronic diseases.
Summer White Bean Soup Recipe
Now that we know the benefits of white bean soup, let’s dive into a delicious recipe for a summer version of the dish.
- 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the carrot, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper to the pot and sauté for another 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the white beans, vegetable broth, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend it until it’s smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the soup hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
Customizing Your Soup
One of the great things about white bean soup is that it’s incredibly versatile. Here are a few tips for customizing the recipe to suit your tastes:
Swap out the Vegetables
Don’t have zucchini or yellow squash on hand? No problem! You can swap them out for other summer vegetables like corn, green beans, or cherry tomatoes.
Add Some Spice
If you like your soup with a little kick, try adding some chili flakes or hot sauce to the soup while it’s cooking. You can also add some smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
Make It Creamier
If you prefer a creamier soup, you can add a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream to the soup after blending it. You can also add some grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Add Some Protein
While the soup is already high in protein thanks to the white beans, you can add some extra protein by topping it with cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
Summer white bean soup is a delicious and nutritious meal that’s perfect for hot days. Packed with fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a healthy option that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile, so you can customize it to suit your tastes. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a refreshing meal that will keep you fueled all summer long!
- Can I use canned white beans for this recipe?
Yes, canned white beans work perfectly fine for this recipe. Just be sure to drain and rinse them before using them in the soup.
- Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, you can freeze this soup. Just let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and freezing it for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating it on the stove.
- Can I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth?
Yes, you can use chicken broth if you prefer. Just be aware that it will change the flavor of the soup slightly.
- Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can make this soup in a slow cooker. Just sauté the onion and garlic in a pan first, then add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Can I use dried white beans instead of canned?
Yes, you can use dried white beans, but you’ll need to soak them overnight before cooking them. Boil them in water for about an hour, then add them to the soup and cook until they’re tender.