Broccoli Bean and Leek Soup

Not a vegetable lover? Disguise your daily servings in this tasty soup! If you're like many Americans struggling to eat enough vegetables, then you could benefit from “hiding” your veggies in some of your favorite dishes. A recent study out of Pennsylvania State University found that adding puréed vegetables to entrées reduced the number of calories in meals (by around 300 calories a meal) without sacrificing texture or taste. Get stealthy with your vegetables by making this dish.

5 cups Water
2 1/2 tsp Vegetable base
2 cups Broccoli (bite-size florets)
2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Sweet onion (small dice)
2 tsp Fresh garlic (minced)
1 cup Leeks (white part only, wash medium dice)
1 1/2 cups Cannellini beans (rinsed)
1 lb Broccoli (chopped)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

In cook pot add 5 cups water and vegetable base, mix and bring to a simmer. Add 2 cups broccoli florets and blanch until just tender, remove from stock, set aside and save both broccoli and stock.

In another pot sauté onions on medium heat in olive oil until transparent, add garlic and with out browning stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add diced leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add saved vegetable stock, increase heat, bring to a simmer, add chopped broccoli and simmer on medium heat until broccoli is just tender.

Then add cannellini beans and simmer until beans are heated through, about two minutes.

Turn off heat and blend with a vertical stick blender until completely pureed. Garnish with blanched broccoli florets and serve.

For more information, read dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick's blog.