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Holistically Haute? Hearty Pinto Bean and Brown Rice Soup

I love beans?they are so versatile. They are great for soups, stews, dips and hummus, chili, as a side dish?so many great uses! Today for dinner I made a variation of my Turkey Bacon and Black Bean Soup. At first I was just going to post the picture on my Facebook and Twitter pages with a link to that recipe, but then I realized I did make quite a few substitutions?and it was really yummy?so I decided to give it its own post.

Beans and rice are a traditional pairing in many differentcultures including parts of Africa, Mexico, South, and Central American countries, islands in the Caribbean, Japan, India, Korea, and right here in the southern and southwestern United States. ?Health foodies, vegetarians, and vegans love this combination because of its high protein content, in addition to fiber, ?good? carbs, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other health benefits. A recent Huffington Post article even dubbed beans ?The Undervalued Superfood?, and according to The World?s Healthiest Foods, in some cultures the word ?eat? literally translates to ?eat rice?.
Beans and rice sometimes have a bad reputation of causing gas and other digestive distress, but this is easily avoided by properly preparing the foods by soaking them overnight before cooking them. This removes two substances that are the foods? natural defenses against pests: saponin (a natural detergent) and phytic acid. These substances don’t digest all that well in humans, so soaking the beans/rice and rinsing them well before cooking them removes them and allows for easier digestion and absorption of nutrients?so soak your beans and grains!

 

This soup is a delicious and filling vegan meal, or you can add your choice of meat?it works very well with organic turkey bacon. It stores well in mason jars or freezer-safe glass storage containers and is a great option for school or work lunches.
Recipe:
  • 2 cups of soakedpinto beans.
  • 1 cup of brown rice (I used short grain brown rice here)
  • A tablespoon of coconutoil
  • 1 medium onion (red onions work really well with this), diced
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ? cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice from ? a lemon
  • Enough water and/or vegetable, chicken, or bone stock to nearly fill the pot to about ? of the way full. Water alone will get the job done (make sure it is filtered), but adding stock will add additional flavor. It?s great if you have your own, but if not you can try an organic packaged one.
  • Either Celtic sea or pink Himlayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (a good squirt of Bragg?s Liquid Aminos is a flavorful alternative to salt)
Instructions:

It?s great to have all your veggies chopped before you start. Heat your pot with the oil and start saut?ing your onions and garlic over a medium flame. Start heating water for your rice (use a 2:1 water:rice ratio) in a separate pot at the same time. Once the onions are translucent, add your carrots and celery and keep saut?ing until they start to soften. You can add a little water if they begin to stick. Add some salt, pepper, and your parsley and saut? for another minute or two. Your kitchen should smell amazing by now…

Check your rice water?if it is boiling, add a dash of salt and your pre-soaked brown rice. Cover the pot and reduce the flame to low. Check the rice after about 30-45 minutes. Add it to your soup when it?s done.

Add your beans to your soup pot and let them stew for a minute or so, then add your water and/or stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.?

After the 45 minutes, check your beans for consistency. If they are cooked or almost cooked, add your lemon. If they are still tough, simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste the broth and add more seasoning until you reach your desired flavor.?

Enjoy this soup after a fresh green salad for a balanced, filling, healthy, and oh yeah?delicious meal!

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