Today’s Health-e-Recipe for White Bean Soup with Spinach, Leeks and Couscous goes beyond the tasty ingredients in its name with some ingredients that may surprise you.
But don’t fret: this recipe is easy. For starters, it doesn’t require pureeing the beans. A chicken broth base (you can substitute vegetable broth, if you like) adds leeks and garlic from the onion family, supplying their powerful cancer-preventive phytochemicals. With carrots you get beta-carotene, an antioxidant that becomes vitamin A in your body. Whole-wheat couscous gives the soup texture and adds more fiber to the soup’s core ingredient: fiber-rich beans.
Eating more beans is a great idea. They contain protein (14-16 grams per cup), fiber (12-14 grams per cup), essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron, plus folate, a B vitamin that is important to consume adequately (but still in moderation) for cancer prevention. They’re filling — but a little bland.
So here’s the fun part: the seasoning. Lemon juice, cumin, mint, bay leaves and parsley (which is high in phytochemicals) all make this soup extremely savory without having to add much salt, if any.