Spicy Winter Bean Soup

This soup is very hearty and delicious, plus it's packed with vegetables. Great for those cold winter nights! There is no meat used, so it's perfect for vegetarians, if you replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped,
2 celery stalks, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 red bell peppers, cut in 1/2 pieces
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp dried oregano c/s
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) cans dices tomatoes with juices
1 can (11 1/2 oz) tomato juice
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 piece (3") of Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
8 cups chicken, or vegetable broth
2 cans (15 1/2 oz each) Garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans (15 oz each) of Cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup dried lentils
3 cups broccoli florets
2 Zucchinis, cut in 1/2" thick rounds
2 yellow Crookneck squash, cut in 1/2" rounds
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for two minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste, cheese rind, and 2 tsp of salt. Add broth, all beans, and lentils. Stir in broccoli, zucchini, and squash. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer uncovered until lentils are soft and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring often for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Ladle stew in bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and basil and serve.

Health tip #4: Coriander

Coriander seed has been applied by modern herbalists to treat stomachaches, as well as to enhance digestion. Coriander seed has also been used in recent times to reduce stress. Reports show that coriander seed may help the digestive and circulatory systems function properly, because coriander seed has geranial, vitamin C, linalool, and potassium that aid in this healing process.