I decided to switch it up and do a soup. Not just any boring soup. Soup can sometimes be boring. I think even chili can be boring. However, when I ran across this recipe for Texas Black Bean Chowder from Better Homes and Gardens, this was a nice shake up of the boring soup game. Black beans, corn, veggies and hot peppers in a creamy soup. Yes please. It’s even vegetarian, but not in a way that would have your meat eaters turning their nose up at it. So a lot going for this recipe. Plenty of protein and vitamin C. But, it’s not a gluten free recipe and it needs vitamin A and the calories are a bit high. No matter. I think I can make this recipe a bit healthier without sacrificing the creaminess of the soup. Here are the original stats:
Here’s what I changed:
- I increased the servings from 6 to 12 to lower the calories
- I replaced the flour with cornstarch to make the recipe gluten free
- I replaced half of the potatoes with sweet potato to increase the vitamin A.
- I increased the bell pepper to 3 cups to increase the vitamin C.
- I reduced the cheese to 1.5 cups to reduce the calories
- I replaced the half and half with lite coconut milk to make more dairy free.
- I increased the black beans to 2 cans and used a low sodium variety
- I added lentils to bulk out the protein
Here are the final stats:
Here is the final recipe:
Texas Spicy Black Bean Chowder
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1/2 pound chopped round red potatoes
- 3/4 pound chopped sweet potato
2 15 ounce cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2.5 cups brown lentils
1 cup frozen corn
2 4 ounces chopped green chiles
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1.5 cups shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
- In a 4-quart Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sweet pepper; cook 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add next 10 ingredients (through cumin). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender.
- In a bowl whisk together coconut milk and cornstarch; add to soup. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in fresh cilantro.