Kitchen Concoctions

Veggie Soup of the Week: Quinoa Minestrone

I love making a big batch of soup to have on hand all week.  It’s a great alternative for dinner when the rest of the family is having something made with wheat or dairy.  And thanks to my new favorite gadget, my Thermos food jar, I can pack a healthy lunch and it stays warm for hours in my desk drawer.  No more fighting for space in the office refrigerator and worrying my lunch will walk off with a stranger!

I don’t have any specific recipe and every week it’s a bit different from the week before.  This lack of direction is exactly why I love cooking (and HATE baking!).  I gather up all the vegetables I can find, dicing and chopping to my heart’s content. (This week Sarah helped, using her kid-friendly yet effective cooking tools!)  Add broth, plenty of protein, and simmer away!

Here’s this week’s creation:

Quinoa Minestrone (gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian)

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 zucchini, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds and sliced into half-circles

1 cup sliced mushrooms

3 plum tomatoes, chopped (canned or fresh)

3 cups chopped tuscan kale (or other dark, leafy greens like collards, spinach, etc.)

1 red pepper, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s 21 Salute Seasoning (or other Italian herbs of your choice)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cups quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2 cups red kidney beans (or other beans, either canned or soaked)


1.  Heat olive oil in large, heavy bottomed dutch oven

2.  Add onions and garlic, cooking until translucent (about 3 minutes), stirring frequently

3. Add zucchini through quinoa, bringing soup to a boil.  Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, adding water if soup gets too thick for your liking.

4.  Add kidney beans and cook 10 minutes longer.

5.  Serve immediately and enjoy, or store for the week!


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