Super Bowl XLVIII is just around the corner, and it’s time to get your recipe roster set for game day. We all know that big sporting events like this tend to cause us to eat more than we typically would. But this year there's no reason to fall off the New Year’s resolution wagon. Cut calories and fat by skipping cheese-topped ground beef-based chili and opting for this delicious white bean chowder instead.
I ate a very similar dish growing up, and have always loved it; little did I know that it was actually good for me. White beans are not only high in dietary fiber, which helps prevent heart disease and promote digestive health, but they're also a great source of protein, B vitamins, calcium, and potassium. The protein-rich starch lends a creamy texture without actually adding cream--it's comfort food without the guilt.
On Super Bowl Sunday, serve this white bean chowder with your favorite sandwiches or save your calories for beer and enjoy alongside a salad, hummus, and vegetables for dipping.
WHITE BEAN CHOWDER
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound white beans, soaked overnight
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup small diced celery root (bean-size dice)
- 3/4 cup small diced carrot (bean-size dice)
- 3/4 cup small diced leek, washed thoroughly
- 8 oz Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (bean-size dice)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard-stems, removed and chopped (10 oz)
- Salt to taste
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil over low heat; add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and stock, cook until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- In another pot, heat remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Add celery and carrot, a few pinches of salt and cook over medium heat covered for about 5 minutes until still crunchy and half cooked. Add leeks until tender, about 4 more minutes. Set aside.
- When the beans are tender, purée half of the beans with the stock in a blender until smooth. Place the purée, vegetables, and remaining beans into a pot. Add potatoes and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chard and bring to a boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt. If soup is too thick, thin with a little stock. Garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
- This recipe also works well with chickpeas, black beans, or large lima beans.
- It calls for a variety of vegetables, but when you can only add one or two veggies, just double up on the amount. Don’t be afraid to use any vegetable you might like.
- This dish is very simple to prepare from scratch, and can be enjoyed year-round. You can easily prep all the veggies in advance and cook up a large batch whenever you have time.
- You can double and triple the recipe to increase quantity. It’s a great dish to have in pint containers in the freezer. Take for lunch whenever you want.
- Dry beans can be stored and eaten during the year. You can soak dry beans in water overnight so they're ready to cook the next day.
- When using a blender (even when making a protein smoothie), do not turn it on high all the way, pulse the blender to get it started, and then you can turn it on high to avoid a messy kitchen.