One of the most dependable food sources in the world are legumes. Dried beans, as they are also called, can be found in nearly every country. In some areas they are a vital part of a family’s food supply. Some people refer to beans as the “poor man’s meat,” but most people will say that beans are delicious and part of a healthy diet.
 
Legumes are used in soups, salads, casseroles, side dishes, and entrees. They are also ground into flour and used to make wonderful breads, chapattis, and crackers.
 
If you’d like to make a tasty soup for your family, here is an easy recipe from Mexico that you can make at home with several different kinds of beans. If you can open a can, you can easily make this soup. Make sure you follow your family’s house rules before you turn on the stove.
 
Quick and Easy Bean and Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6-8
 
You’ll need a large pan for this soup. Don’t drain the liquid from the cans of beans or tomatoes. Just put everything into the pan. The cans of beans are the regular size found in your grocery store, which are normally about 14-to 16 ounce size cans. With soup the measurements don’t have to be exact.
 
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can white beans, undrained
1 can garbanzo beans, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 30-oz. can of mild enchilada sauce, preferably with green chilies
1 cup of canned, unsweetened pumpkin
¼ cup of canned mild chili peppers (optional)
 
Directions
1.      Put the beans (including the liquid from the can) and the tomatoes with juice into the soup pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring often.
2.      When heated, stir in the enchilada sauce and pumpkin. (Add the chili peppers if you are using them.) Reduce heat to low.
3.      Carefully taste the soup. Add salt if necessary.
 
Serving suggestions
This soup is wonderful just like it is, but you can also try the following ideas:
1.      Serve it with crackers or bread.
2.      Serve it over tortilla chips.
3.      Ladle it over rice.
4.      Top it with fresh avocado slices.
5.      Sprinkle grated cheese on the top.
6.      Add a spoonful of sour cream or yogurt.