Sunday, January 13, 2013

Easy Quinoa Vegetable Soup

Quinoa is one of my new favourite foods.  Since my son will eat anything if it's put in a soup, I often throw together this soup for his lunch or dinner when I'm running out of ingredients in the fridge and can't think of anything else to make.  It's one of his favourites, and it takes very little time to put together, making it one of my favourites as well.   This recipe is free from gluten, dairy and meat, making it great for vegans or vegetarians. 

Quinoa is high in protein, and one of the only vegetarian foods to provide all essential amino acids.  It is also a pretty good source of fibre while being low in fat and calories. 

The United Nations has declared 2013 the Year of the Quinoa, so why not start it off with an easy, healthy quinoa soup? 

Ingredients

8 cups vegetable broth (Campbell's is Gluten Free)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I use the blend with peas, carrots, corn and beans, but any mix with bite sized pieces will do)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained.  Quinoa is bitter if you don't rinse it first, so it's an important step.
1 tsp. dried thyme.  Substitute any herb you like if you don't like thyme.  Parsley or basil would be good.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Olive Oil

Directions

1- In a soup pot over medium heat, pour enough olive oil to just barely coat the bottom.  Add onion and sautee until soft, approx. 3-5 min.  Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.

2- Add vegetable broth, dried thyme and frozen vegetables.  Increase heat to maximum and cover. 

3- When soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and add quinoa.  Cover and allow to cook until quinoa is soft and cooked, approx. 10-15 min.  Adjust seasonings and serve.

Keep in mind that quinoa will continue to absorb water, so if you aren't planning to eat it immediately you may have to add a bit more liquid when time to serve.  Additionally, you can cook the quinoa separately and add to the soup when serving. 


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