cheap and healthy bean soups

Ahh, it was only 55 degrees this morning, and today it finally smells like fall in Houston!  I love warm soup in the fall, winter, and spring…anytime there is a chill in the air.   Soup and homemade bread always pair for a comforting, inexpensive meal.  

 I have found that buying the dry beans overnight, then cooking them myself rather than buying the canned beans is much cheaper.  If you make more beans than the recipe calls for you can always freeze the rest for another day!  Beans are full of important minerals such as calcium and potassium, as well as fiber, and have a low glycemic index, which is great for those with diabetes or trying to lose weight.  That makes them a perfect food for those eating healthy on a budget!   

Anyway, here are some of my faves, and if you have any you wouild like to add I am always interested in more healthy, cheap recipes…

Tuscan Turkey and Cannelini (30 minutes – great for leftover chicken or turkey)

(6 servings:  208 calories, 6g fat, 15g carb, 22g protein, 3g fiber)

2 tsps evoo (extra-virgin olive oil)

2 leeks, white and light green parts cut into 1/4 inch rounds and rinsed well

1 Tsp dried thyme

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth (I use the Costco chicken boullion and add water)

2 cups cannelini beans, cooked

1 pound cooked, shredded turkey (or chicken) meat

2 cups water

1) Heat oil in a dutch oven or soup pot.  Add leeks and cook until soft, stirring frequently.  Add thyme and stir for 30 seconds, then add remaining ingredients.  Heat thoroughly and serve.


White Chicken Chili (high in protein, fiber, and most minerals)

(6 servings, 273 calories, 9g fat, 31g carb, 19g protein, 11g fiber)

1 medium onion

3 Tbsp olive oil

4oz can green chilis, chopped

3 Tbsps flour

2 tsp cumin

3-4 cups white beans, any kind

15 oz chicken broth

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast (canned works too)

Heat oil in a soup pot.  Saute onion until translucent, then add chilis, cumin, and flour.  Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes on medium-low.  Add the rest of ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.


Make-Ahead Minestrone

From Lowfat & Luscious Italian (this is a terrific cookbook for soups and desserts)


3 14.5oz cans beef broth

1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 14.5 oz can low-sodium stewed tomatoes

1 11.5oz can vegetable juice (V8)

1 6-oz can low-sodium tomato past

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1.5 cups loose-pack frozen mixed vegetables (preferable Italian blend

2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups cooked pasta (1c uncooked) such as small shells or mostaccioli

Shredded Parmesan for garnish


1.  In a large kettle combine first 8 ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Add mixed vegetables and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add spinach and cooked pasta to serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for 1-3 days before adding last 2 ingredients and serving.

(8 servings, 214 calories, 41g carb, 2g fat, 12g protein, 9g fiber) 


One thought on “cheap and healthy bean soups

  1. Awesome website, Anne. I finally got around to looking at it. I did not realize it was in a blog format. I popped it into my Google Reader, so I can keep track of all your posts. Thank you for always sharing your wealth of knowledge. See you tomorrow night . . . hopefully you will be back to 100% by then!

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