Saturday, March 6, 2010

Minestrone Soup with Quinoa

If you look back over all the recipes I've posted, generally every post includes words like "amazing, heaven, delicious, etc., etc." This post is different. Mac loved this soup. I, on the other hand, felt like I was eating something that belonged in a detox diet. But, I also thought that this soup had a lot of potential. Next time, I'll just add more seasoning and that should do it. If you're in the mood for something wholesome and healthy, here ya go!

2 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 c. fennel, diced
1 c. red onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (I didn't have any - i think it would have helped)
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1 1/2 c. cooked white kidney beans, drained (1 can)
2 c. plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 c. uncooked quinoa (a grain. you can find it in a health food store such as Fred Meyer's health section, your local co-op, or trader joes)
Salt and pepper
1 c. fresh spinach, sliced thin
3 tbsp. fresh basil, thinly sliced (also did not have and would have helped)
2 oz. parmigiano reggiano (i used parmesan cheese, pre grated)

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, fennel, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and fennel seeds and cook, stirring often, until veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add 6 cups of water, beans, tomatoes, and quinoa. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and basil just before esrving. Garnish with cheese, if you want.