Leticia Moreinos Schwartz has been a spokesperson for America’s Diabetes Challenge for the past five years. Through the campaign, she travels across the nation doing recipe development, live events, cooking demos, satellite media tours, and more, all in the name of promoting healthy cooking.
She also sees first-hand the dietary problems that contribute to this and many other lifestyle diseases, particularly in the Hispanic community here in the US and in Latin countries globally. Leticia grew up in Brazil, but quickly realized that once Latinos move to the US, their habits change for the worse, along with their health.
“We no longer shop at a farmers market or cook homemade meals. Instead, we shop at big chain stores and buy pre-packed foods. The road from a healthy Latin culture to the North American table became a tough one somewhere along the way,” she said.
The good news is that maintaining a healthy diet has never been easier, precisely because of the influence of the Latin culture in this country. Award-winning author Leticia Schwartz will introduce you to new and improved Latin recipes to enjoy without compromising on flavor.
As a good Latin woman, I keep lots of bean bags in my pantry. Though I’ve written this recipe, I’ll be the first to tell you that you don’t need a recipe to make this soup. Mark this page with a sticky note and work your way through it. Use it the first time, maybe the second, but after that, you can remove that sticky note—you’ll never need a recipe for bean soup again. Promise.
And you need no special equipment, ingredients, or really much time either. I love black beans, but you can use just about any beans you have on hand. You want to cook this recipe long enough to develop the flavors, but not that long that it will lose its freshness. This type of soup is super healthy and tastes great, and even better the next day. It also freezes very well, so by all means, consider making a double batch for those days when you don’t want to cook.
Recipe: Hearty Black Bean Soup
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced garlic
- 1 onion, finely chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 cups cooked black beans
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped
1. In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over low heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until it’s just golden brown, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cumin, and continue cooking.
3. Add the stock, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Reduce the heat to low and add the beans. Cover the soup and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, checking seasoning and liquid level. If you need more liquid, add water or more chicken stock.
5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot.
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