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This is a filling yet fresh and light soup I made spur of the moment after our eating marathon Thanksgiving weekend. I mean, after Thanksgiving food, a huge family Friday night meal complete with more fish, more turkey, potatoes, mac and cheese with squash, pies (SO many pies), cookies (countless kinds)…to say I was full is an understatement. Then, after driving home from Kal’s Cabin, we unpacked leftover food and clothing.
I was really too tired to go to the grocery store on Sunday and imagined it would be packed with people just like me who needed to get stocked up for the next week. So instead, I did a quick search in my cupboards and freezer and files and resurrected this soup recipe from The New York Times. To spice things up a bit, I added some leftover fresh frozen green beans, small ditalini pasta, and a few potatoes and a squeeze of lime juice. I had every single item needed in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer! NO GROCERY STORE SHOPPING WAS NEEDED!
The result was a filling but fresh tasting soup. I liked it enough that I made it again mid-week because I had freshly cooked pinto beans and wanted to see how that would work It turned out the broth I saved from cooking the beans made even better soup stock.
Quinoa Bean Vegetable Soup
Adapted from The New York Times
Serves 6-8 easily
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped ¼ inch
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped ¼ inch
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely sliced ¼ inch
- 2 very small, peeled new potatoes (1 inch in diameter), peeled and cut into 6 pieces each
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) cannellini or other white beans, drained OR 1½ cups drained beans that you have freshly made (pinto or garbanzo beans worked great)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped by hand
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chopped tomatoes, with their juices
- ¾ cup ditalini pasta or orzo pasta, uncooked
- 8 cups vegetable stock (I use bean juice + water to = 8 cups, or you could add a little Better Than Bouillion to the water if you want more flavor
- ½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed first
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup cut green beans (1-inch pieces) or corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- Juice of ½ medium sized lime (if desired)
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and sauté until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and their juices, and vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add quinoa, parsley, frozen or fresh green beans, any other herbs you love, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until quinoa is cooked, 12 to 15 minutes. When 9 minutes remain of your cooking time, add the dry ditalini or orzo.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves, taste and add the lime juice if you want to brighten the flavor and serve.
The stew gets much thicker if you make it the day before, which I like better. Serve with a simple butter lettuce salad and some rustic, grainy bread and you have yourself a meal! If you don’t want such a thick soup, boil the ditalini pasta separately and add it right before reheating. You could also substitute cooked brown rice for the cooked pasta.