QF Hearty_Bean_soupWEB

Three Bean Soup with Cucumber and Jicama Salad. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Thick, hearty soup and a salad make a warm and welcoming vegetarian dinner. This soup freezes well. If you have time, make double and you will have another meal ready.

Jicama is a root vegetable with a thin brown skin and crunchy white flesh. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The nutty flavor and crisp texture are refreshing with the thick soup. If jicama is unavailable, any crunchy vegetable such as broccoli can be used.

SHOPPING LIST: To buy: 1 small parsnip, 1 can reduced-sodium red kidney beans, 1 can reduced-sodium chick peas, 1 small package frozen baby lima beans, 1 large can (32 ounces needed) reduced-sodium peeled tomatoes, 1 jalapeño pepper, 1 medium cucumber, 1/4 pound jicama, 1 red onion, 1 container no-salt-added vegetable broth, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle chili powder, and 1 small whole wheat baguette. Staples: reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, carrots, salt and black peppercorns.

Three Bean Soup

  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced parsnips
  • 1 1/4-cups water, divided use
  • 3/4 cup rinsed and drained reduced-sodium red kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup rinsed and drained reduced-sodium chick peas
  • 1 cup frozen baby lima beans
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium canned peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 slices whole wheat baguette

Place onion, carrot, parsnips and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan. Sauté 5 minutes. Add kidney beans, chick peas, lima beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, remaining 1 cup water, cumin and chili powder. Break up tomatoes with a spoon or knife and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place bread in oven to warm for 5 minutes.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 586 calories (11% from fat), 6.9 g fat (0.9 g saturated, 1.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 29.7 g protein, 111 g carbohydrates, 30.6 g fiber, 604 mg sodium.

Cucumber and Jicama Salad

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons seeded, chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup peeled, sliced cucumber (cut large slices in half)
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced jicama, (about same size as cucumber) (see note)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Note: If jicama is unavailable, any crunchy vegetable such as broccoli can be used. Any type of oil and vinegar dressing can be used for the salad.

Pour dressing into a salad bowl. Stir in onion and jalapeño pepper. Add the cucumber and jicama and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 45 calories (22% from fat), 1.1 g fat (0.01 g saturated, 0.3 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 8.4 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g fiber, 8 mg sodium.

Quick Fix is a Tribune News Service column from Linda Gassenheimer. She is the author, most recently, of “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook,” “Delicious One-Pot Dishes” and “Quick and Easy Chicken.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email: linda@dinnerinminutes.com.

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