January’s Superfood: Soup
So far it’s been a relatively mild winter, but we still have plenty of winter left, with the threat of cold winds blowing and snow piling up outside. Those kinds of days are a great time to stay inside, stay warm, and stay off the icy sidewalks! But you’ll still need to eat, and it’s doubly important that you are eating healthy foods that provide for your nutritional needs as well as the baby’s. Fortunately, one of pregnancy’s super nutrients is something you can stock up on, pull out of the cabinet, and whip up to make a hearty, filling, nutritious meal for everybody in the house. It’s time to make a nice black bean or lentil soup!
During your pregnancy, your baby needs calcium and protein to build healthy bones and tissues. The formation of red blood cells requires plenty of iron, and folic acid is important to prevent neural tube defects. The legume family (beans and lentils of all kinds, including soy beans) are loaded with protein, calcium, iron, zinc, and folate – plus they have lots of fiber, which not only fights gestational diabetes, but will help keep your digestive system on track too. Make sure that your cupboard is stocked with a couple of cans of black beans or a bag of French lentils, and maybe a can or two of chopped tomatoes, some bouillon cubes and some garlic and onion. A hearty bean soup takes just about fifteen minutes to make, is low calorie, and is a can’t-miss kind of meal that benefits from any extras you throw in but doesn’t suffer too much if you’re short an herb or garlic clove. Don’t be afraid to make the recipe your own by adding red pepper flakes, fresh herbs if you have them, cumin or curry. Make up a big pot, and if you have any leftovers (unlikely), you can freeze them in individual containers or freezer bags for the next time it snows.
Legume Soup (6 servings)
(You can make this with lentils, black beans, or whatever type of bean you prefer!
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped 4 cups low-sodium broth
2 stalks chopped celery, chopped 1 ¼ c. lentils or black beans, or other
2 large carrots, chopped 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
Heat oil over medium heat, and add chopped vegetables and garlic, stirring until soft. Add broth, legumes, and tomatoes and simmer, covered for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove two cups of soup and add to blender; puree, and then add back in to soup. Serve hot, topped with fat free Greek yogurt.
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