This is a complete meal in a bowl. It fills me up for hours! Quinoa is a complete protein so this is a well balanced meal for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet (provided you omit the Parmesan cheese garnish) but you can also add some shredded meat at the end if you like. I love it just the way it is.
The ingredients include mostly pantry items and it’s a really easy soup to make. Most of the work is in the chopping of the vegetables!
Serves 4 - 6
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large zucchini diced
1 large capsicum (of any colour) chopped
2 or more cups of chopped fresh kale or collard greens (tough ribs removed)
6 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2x 400g tins of diced tomatoes
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander (use ¾ cup for a lighter, more brothy soup)
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 tsp salt, more to taste
2 bay leaves
Pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
400g tin of cannellini bean (you can use any beans you like)
1 - 2 tsp lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or saucepan over a medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion, all the other vegetables except the the kale, and a pinch of salt.
Cook, stirring often until the vegetables start to soften (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and thyme and stir. Pour in the diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
Add the quinoa, stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 bay leaves, a good pinch of red pepper flakes and the additional water. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
Add the beans and chopped greens and continue to simmer for a further 10 - 15 minutes (or until the greens have softened to your liking).
Remove the pot from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if necessary.
Divide into bowls and top with grated Parmesan.
This soup doesn’t get blended so cut the vegetables into the size you would like to eat them. I prefer them small. If you make yours larger, you may need to simmer for longer.
I have made this soup in the slow cooker before. It turned out well after 8 hours on a low heat. Ideal to put on before bedtime!
This soup keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days. It freezes and defrosts well too!