Black Bean Soup and Lentil Soup Recipes


Black Bean Soup


Black beans, also known as “turtle beans,” are an especially tasty variety, and make a lovely soup. As with most dried beans, they are inexpensive while offering a bounty of fiber, protein, folic acid, potassium and magnesium. Do not salt dried beans while they are cooking as the salt slows down the softening process. And a word about the sherry commonly added to this soup: forget “cooking” wines or sherries. They contain lots of added salt and very little in the way of flavor. Do your palate and your body a favor and use a drinkable sherry in this recipe.

Food as Medicine

A recent study from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that, of all beans and legumes, black beans are the most antioxidant-rich (they contain the same anthocyanins found in dark red fruits such as grapes and cranberries). The antioxidants in black beans prevent cholesterol from being oxidized by free radicals in the bloodstream, a process that may, left unchecked, lead to plaque formation on blood vessel walls and, ultimately, atherosclerosis. Additionally, just one cup of black beans contains 20 percent of the Daily Value for iron; however, black beans also contain polyphenols known as tannins that prevent the full absorption of iron, so the amount of iron the body can actually use is somewhat lower.


1 pound black beans

1 bay leaf

1 large onion, sliced

Salt to taste

A few cloves of chopped garlic

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 cup dry sherry (not cooking sherry)

Serves 8
Nutrients Per Serving

Calories: 102.8
Protein: 3.5 grams
Fat: 2.6 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.2 grams
Monounsat Fat: 1.3 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.9 grams
Carbohydrate: 18.6 grams
Fiber: 4.1 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 5,138.3 IU
Vitamin E: 2.0 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 39.9 mg
Calcium: 104.1 mg
Magnesium: 76.1 mg

1. Pick over beans to remove any dirt, stones or foreign objects. Wash well, then soak for 8 hours in ample cold water.

2. Drain beans and cover with a generous amount of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan with the bay leaf. Skim off foam, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beans are just tender, about 1 hour.

3. Add onion and continue to cook until onion becomes extremely soft, about 1 more hour.

4. Add salt to taste and garlic. Continue to cook, adding a little boiling water if necessary, until beans are very soft, about 1-2 hours more.

5. Remove bay leaf and turn off heat. Ladle beans in batches into a blender or food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender and puree soup directly in the saucepan.

6. Add dry mustard powder and dry sherry. Correct seasoning. Reheat and serve, adding any garnishes you wish, such as slices of lemon or freshly chopped herbs.

Courtesy of Dr. Weil.

lentil-soupLentil Soup


Lentils are a staple in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking and make a thick, rich and delicious soup. They’re also a good source of fiber and magnesium and the quickest legume to cook. With bread and a salad, this soup makes a whole meal. On a cold night, a filling soup like this is perfect nourishment for warming body and soul.

Food as Medicine

Soluble fiber, found in such high quantities in lentils, forms a gel in the digestive tract that traps cholesterol-containing bile and escorts it out of the body; while insoluble fiber, also plentiful in lentils, provides stool bulk and helps prevent constipation. Just one cup of cooked lentils – less than the amount found in one serving of this soup – contains over 15 grams of dietary fiber, all for only 230 calories. Lentils are also an excellent source of molybdenum and folate. This soup is vegetable-dense, containing antioxidant- and fiber-rich carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes; various studies have shown that as consumption of fruits and vegetables increases, the risk of heart disease drops.


1 pound lentils

1 bay leaf

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Vinegar (red wine, cider or balsamic, optional)

Serves 6

Nutrients Per Serving
Calories: 175.9
Protein: 8.1 grams
Fat: 5.8 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.8 grams
Monounsat Fat: 3.8 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.8 grams
Carbohydrate: 25.2 grams
Fiber: 8.7 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 8,600.9 IU
Vitamin E: 1.3 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 14.9 mg
Calcium: 61.9 mg
Magnesium: 44.2 mg


1. Pick over lentils to remove any stones, dirt, or other foreign objects. Rinse them well in cold water and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover lentils by 6 inches. Add the bay leaf.

2. Bring to a boil, skim off foam, lower heat, and boil gently, partially covered, until lentils are just tooth-tender, 20-30 minutes.

3. Add carrots, celery, and onion to the lentils. Cook partially covered till carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

4. Add crushed tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, partially covered, until lentils become very creamy and soft. Stir occasionally and add boiling water if necessary to prevent sticking.

5. Remove bay leaf before serving. If you like, stir in a little vinegar just before serving.

Courtesy of Dr. Weil.

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