Quinoa can be pricey, so I like to use it in recipes like this soup where it’s balanced with lesser expensive ingredients. Quinoa adds protein, fiber, and a belly-filling quality that vegetables don’t usually give me on their own. If you’re not into quinoa, you can try another grain like pearled barley, or even pasta or rice. Just be aware that the cooking time for other grains, pasta, and rice will not be the same as the quinoa.
|Servings: 8||Prep Time:10 mins||Cook Time: 40 mins||Total Time: 50 mins|
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 carrots
- 3 ribs celery
- 15 oz. can kidney beans
- 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 4 cups vegetable broth*
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 lb. frozen spinach
Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Add the olive oil, garlic, and onion to a large pot and sauté over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
While the garlic and onion are cooking, wash and peel the carrots, then slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Wash the celery and slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Add the carrots and celery to the pot and continue to sauté until they just begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
While the carrots and celery are cooking, rinse the quinoa well with cool running water in a wire mesh sieve. Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Add the quinoa, kidney beans, diced tomatoes (with juices), basil, oregano, smoked paprika, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill) to the pot.
Add the vegetable broth and water to the pot, place a lid on top, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the pot to come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 25 minutes (make sure it's simmering the entire time, turning the heat up just slightly if it stops).
After simmering for 25 minutes the quinoa should be slightly translucent and tender. If not, let simmer a few minutes longer. Stir in 1/4 lb. of frozen spinach until heated through. Taste the soup and add salt or adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve hot.
*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth. If you use a low sodium broth, you may need to add a pinch of salt to the finished soup.
Recipes by Beth,BudgetByte
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