Liz's Blog for a Healthier, Happier Life

Fiesta Fit Soup

rsz_fiesta_fit_soup_photoImagine a soup that is fast, easy, gives new meaning to the word “delicious” and contains food ingredients that are linked to a lower risk of belly fat, such as whole grains, beans, healthy fats, peppers and flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables.  Does it get any better?  I don’t think so.  I hope you love this soup as much as I do!

Serves 8


2 tsp (10 mL)                      extra virgin olive oil

1                                      small red onion, chopped

1                                      red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup (50 mL)                  dried cranberries

4                                      cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 mL)                    chili powder

1 tsp (5 mL)                       ground cumin

3/4 tsp (4 mL)                    each salt and pepper

8 cups (2 L)                        low sodium vegetable broth

1 can (14 oz/398 mL)           diced tomatoes (no salt added)

2 cans (14 oz/398 mL each)  black beans (no salt added), drained and rinsed

2 cups (500 mL)                  whole grain pasta (such as, Catelli Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Bows)

1 cup (250 mL)                   corn kernels, thawed

4 cups (1 L)                        lightly packed baby spinach

2                                      jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1                                      lime, zested and juiced (approx.)

Chopped fresh coriander (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red pepper.  Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add the cranberries, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 6 cups (1.5 L) broth and the tomatoes; bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the beans, pasta and corn. Boil gently, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  4. Stir in the remaining broth, the spinach, jalapeno peppers, lime zest and juice; remove from the heat. (Add extra broth and lime juice to adjust consistency and acidity to taste if desired). Garnish with fresh coriander (if using).

Please note:  Leftover soup is great to pack for lunch at the office the next day.  For those who love spicy foods, increase the number of jalapeno peppers or stir in the seeds as well.

Per serving (about 1 1/3 cups/325 mL): 234 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugars, 10 g fibre, 10 g protein, 396 mg sodium.



I’m a registered dietitian with a passion for peanut butter sandwiches and an undying love for chocolate. I’ve been researching, writing, and speaking about eating for optimal health for over 25 years. I have two wonderful daughters, love hiking year-round, and playing hockey in the winter. Perhaps, most importantly, I never let a good dance song go to waste!


  • January 3, 2013

    Sounds like a really delicious soup – can I add in cabbage to it? Carrots/celery?

  • January 8, 2013

    Thanks Liz,

    I am incapable of following a recipe without modifying it somehow, just so you know, it’s not you. I’ll give this a try soon, tis the season for soup!

  • April 6, 2013
    Julie Mix

    It is absolutely delicious.
    Looking forward t make it tomorrow. My second time.

  • November 1, 2013
    Sherri Osborne

    My co worker made this delicious soup for a work lunch and I made it last night for after a football game in November. Loved the soup!


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