Three Bean Soup with Cucumber and Jicama Salad. Linda Gassenheimer/TNS

Thick, hearty soup and a salad make a warm and welcoming vegetarian dinner. This soup freezes well. If you have time, make double and you will have another meal ready.

Jicama is a root vegetable with a thin brown skin and crunchy white flesh. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The nutty flavor and crisp texture are refreshing with the thick soup.

Helpful Hints:

If jicama is unavailable, any crunchy vegetable such as broccoli can be used.

Diced onion is used in both recipes. Dice it all at one time and divide accordingly.

Any type of oil and vinegar dressing can be used for the salad.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees to warm bread.

Make soup.

While soup cooks, make salad.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 small parsnip, 1 can reduced-sodium red kidney beans, 1 can reduced-sodium chick peas, 1 small package frozen baby lima beans, 1 large can (32 ounces needed) reduced-sodium peeled tomatoes, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 medium cucumber, 1/4 pound jicama, 1 red onion, 1 container no-salt-added vegetable broth, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle chili powder, and 1 small whole-wheat baguette.

Staples: Reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, carrots, salt and black peppercorns.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced parsnips

1-1/4-cups water, divided use

3/4 cup rinsed and drained reduced-sodium red kidney beans

3/4 cup rinsed and drained reduced-sodium chick peas

1 cup frozen baby lima beans

4 cups reduced-sodium canned peeled tomatoes

1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 slices whole-wheat baguette

Place onion, carrot, parsnips and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan. Saute 5 minutes. Add kidney beans, chick peas, lima beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, remaining 1 cup water, cumin and chili powder. Break up tomatoes with a spoon or knife. Simmer 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place bread in oven to warm for 5 minutes.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 586 calories (11% from fat), 6.9 g fat (0.9 g saturated, 1.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 29.7 g protein, 111 g carbohydrates, 30.6 g fiber, 604 mg sodium.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1 tablespoon diced red onion

2 teaspoons seeded, chopped jalapeno pepper

1 cup peeled, sliced cucumber (cut large slices in half)

1 cup peeled and sliced jicama, (about same size as cucumber)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour dressing into a salad bowl. Stir in onion and jalapeno pepper. Add the cucumber and jicama and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 45 calories (22% from fat), 1.1 g fat (0.01 g saturated, 0.3 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 8.4 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g fiber, 8 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at

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