Slim Down with this Delicious Navy Bean, Bacon, and Spinach Soup
Florida has been experiencing a cold snap, with temperatures dipping down into the 50’s in Boca Raton. All that cold, wintery Florida weather can bring on soup cravings.
A pot of steaming soup on the stove can elicit visions of noodles and diced potatoes, but a warm, comforting soup doesn’t have to be filled with noodles to fill you up. Beans make a great choice for soups because they provide complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, all of which can keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you will eat less over the course of the day. The spinach will stand out like a jewel in this earthy, orange colored soup. The bacon lends a warm, smoky flavor as well as providing additional protein.
Navy beans got their name in the 1900’s when they were a staple food for the US Navy. The legume can easily be stored dried, making them ideal for bring on voyages. Their mild flavor makes them perfect for meals like soups and baked beans. While cooking dried navy beans is easy, this recipe uses canned navy beans to cut down on cooking time. If you have extra time in your day, you certainly could start with a dried navy beans and cook according to the package directions before using to make this soup. But, for those who have less time to devote to cooking but still want a protein and fiber rich soup, canned navy beans can be a good choice as well. 1 cup of cooked navy beans provides nearly 300 calories, 20 g protein, and 54 grams of carbohydrates, but 13 g of those carbohydrates are dietary fiber, which does not get digested. This dietary fiber helps to remove cholesterol from the body and also helps prevent a large rise in blood sugar despite the amount of carbohydrates. In case you need more reasons to eat them, navy beans are also a good source of folate, manganese, and copper.
Soup can be a controversial subject in the field of bariatric surgery. Dietitians and bariatric surgeons often recommend lap band (gastric band) patients to avoid eating soup as it can easily pass through the small opening created by the lap band, which means it does not stpay in the stomach pouch long enough to induce feelings of fullness. But, for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients, eating soup can be a good way to fit in many vegetables and beans that they wouldn’t normally want to eat as they can be hidden by pureeing them to make the soup creamier. In this case, eating beans can contribute to a feeling of fullness that can help gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients reduce overall caloric intake and contribute to weight loss.
Navy Bean, Bacon, and Spinach Soup
Adapted from www.skinnytaste.com
3 15 oz cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
3 cups baby spinach, cut in half
1 sprig fresh rosemary for garnish, if desired
- In a blender, blend 1 can of beans with 1 cup of water.
- Saute the bacon in a large pot until crisp. Set aside on paper towels.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste then add the pureed beans, beans, broth, and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low until the beans and vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. Place 2 cups of the soup and half of the bacon in the blender and puree, then add back to the soup along with the spinach and stir until wilted.
- To serve, ladle into 6 bowls and top with bacon.
The above suggestion is offered by Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, a weight loss surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgeries. Dr. Shillingford completed his undergraduate and medical schooling at the University of Michigan before completing his surgical residency at the University of Maryland and his fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida. As such, Dr. Shillingford often attracts bariatric patients who travel for their gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery from around the country, including from Michigan, Ohio, Texas, New York, and New Jersey. Many patients from across the country find that Dr. Shillingford’s competitive prices and surgical expertise are worth traveling for. Those patients can access Dr. Shillingford for follow up appointments via phone, Skype, or FaceTime.