Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easy Vegetable Quinoa Soup

I wasn't feeling very well when I woke up this morning...which unfortunately continued throughout the day.  Whenever I'm feeling under the weather, I only want one thing: hot, homemade soup.

Now, when my mother and grandmother used to make soup, all of the ingredients, including the broth, were always from scratch.  However, I wasn't really up to making a homemade broth and prepping a million vegetables today, so I took a little help on this one.  Feel free to sub any vegetables, starch and/or meat that you like.  This one is light, healthy and has a few short cuts...because sometimes, you just don't have the energy for all of the details.

One ingredient I like to sneak into soups is quinoa, which is already a foreign ingredient to most.  It's probably even more so in a soup preparation.  However, I love the protein and substance that it adds in this recipe. It's a great alternative to pasta or rice.

Easy Vegetable Quinoa Soup *makes 6 servings

3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 medium yellow or vidalia onion, chopped
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables (this one had sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli and water chestnuts, but I removed the water chestnuts), thawed
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup dry quinoa
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (these really help clear your head but if you don't like spice, you can leave them out)
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups water (you might need more or less, depending on the how ripe and flavorful your veggies are)
2 tbsp low sodium vegetable base
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

- Heat oil in a medium-sized pot
- Add onion, celery and carrot; season with salt and pepper; saute until al dente
- Add garlic and cook for one more minute
- Add thawed vegetables, beans, poultry seasoning, and water; bring to a boil
- Add vegetable base and quinoa; boil for 15 minutes on medium until quinoa is translucent

I always garnish my vegetable soup with a spoon of parmesan cheese and serve with whole grain crackers or bread!

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