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White Bean Soup with Spinach, Leeks and Couscous

A Soup with Substance!

Ditch the canned varieties and make your own hearty soup for half the calories and significantly less sodium. Fiber-rich white beans, also called cannellini beans, are full of iron, magnesium and folate and lend substance to this broth-based soup. Colorful carrots and spinach provide beneficial carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Top it all off with whole-wheat couscous and you've got a great variety of health in one bowl in under 20 minutes.

White Bean SoupIngredients

2 tsp. olive oil
4 leeks, bulb only, chopped (rinsed very well)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 tsp. dried mint leaves
2-3 tsp. ground cumin
4 (16 oz.) cans fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 (16 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions

1. In large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic and carrots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add dried mint and cumin. Stir until fragrant about 2 more minutes.

2. Stir in chicken broth, beans and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low.

3. Stir in couscous. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 170 calories, 2.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat) 30 g carbohydrate,
8 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 520 mg sodium.

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