Friday, February 1, 2013

Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Did you know that 2013 is the "International Year of Quinoa"? Interesting, but not why I decided to include it in this soup. I love quinoa for it's taste and consistency and it is surprisingly high in protein as well. Oh, and did I mention all of the health benefits? I loved it in this vegetable soup. It was a great replacement for the traditional noodles of a "vegetable noodle soup" and really gave it a great stew-like feeling. The photo above was from the day it was made. Keep in mind that it will continue to absorb moisture making it thicker (goodbye broth). Personally, I love nice thick soups, but if you don't then add extra broth (or less quinoa and veggies). For maximum enjoyment, don't be shy about keeping your vegetables nice and chunky or the quinoa will steal the show.

Vegetable Quinoa Soup
How I Did It:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp garlic
5 parsnips, peeled and chopped
6 carrots, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped and stems kept separate
64 oz low sodium vegetable broth
3 tsp basil
3 tsp thyme
1 handful green beans, chopped in 1/2 or 1/3
1 green pepper, sliced and chopped
28 oz San Marzano diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup quinoa

1. Heat oil in a large pot and add in onion and garlic. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent. 

2. Stir in parsnips, carrots, celery, and swiss chard stems. Add 1/4 cup of broth and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the rest of the broth along with the basil and thyme, turn up the heat and let cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in green beans, peppers, and diced tomatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. 

4. Stir in the quinoa and cook for another 15 minutes and then add the swiss chard greens. Cook for another 10 minutes (or longer) on medium/high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.

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