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Monday, March 30, 2009

Iron Chef: Hot & Spicy Black Bean Soup

One of the most popular Carb-Monster soups on the 5 Day Pouch Test is the Black Bean Soup. It is made from scratch with fresh vegetables and black beans that are rehydrated during the cooking process. In other words, it takes time to make this healthy and crave-stopping concoction. Many times I'm asked, "Are then any ready-made products that will work just as well for the 5 Day Pouch Test?"

Recently I came across a boxed soup mix under the brand "Iron Chef". The mix, which cost about $5 and and makes 4 (1-cup) servings is "Hot & Spicy Black Bean Gourmet Soup Mix". Simply add water and simmer 15-minutes -- easy!! Without additions the soup is 100 calories per serving, provides 7g protein and 21g carbohyrate and only 1 gram fat.

I found this soup mix in our little tiny grocery store here off the beaten path, so I think it should be widely available at larger supermarkets as well. To learn more about the Iron Chef line of products and recipes go to: (This is not a paid endorsement - I just happen to think this is a pretty darn good product.)

Made as directed this soup is warmly satisfying and lacks an "out of the can" taste. The depth of flavor is top notch. To boost the protein I added one (15-ounce) can of premium black beans, rinsed and drained, during the final 10 minutes of cooking. This boosted the protein to 13g protein and doubled the dietary fiber to 14 grams.

Give this mix a try -- don't save it only for the 5 Day Pouch Test. For variety add 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream to your serving. Enjoy!

From the 5 Day Pouch Test:

Black Bean Soup: Days 1 & 2

Feed the Carb Monster

Taken From The New Glucose Revolution page 244
--Vegetarian Friendly

Beans are naturally a low-GI (Glycemic Index) food and one of nature's nutritional power packs. They are considered good sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium.

1 cup dry black beans
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 large red pepper, roasted
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 quarts vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, cover black beans with 3 1/2 cups water and soak overnight.

Rinse beans in a colander with fresh water and drain.

Lightly spray a large saucepan with olive oil. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, roasted pepper and garlic Add vegetable stock and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

When beans are tender, pour into a food processor and puree. Add cumin, salt, oregano, parsley, and cilantro.

Serves 6. Per serving: 140 calories, 13 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber and .5 grams of fat.

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