Tomato, Kale and Quinoa Soup

I ate a version of this when I went out with a very lovely friend for lunch a couple of weeks ago, and had to try to create my own version when I got home. I researched a few recipes online and eventually came out with this version below.

What appealed to me apart from the delicious flavours and colours of the soup-was the idea of adding quinoa as another way of adding protein and complex carbohydrates to a lunchtime meal. The addition of this nutritious grain leaves you full and satisfied, and NOT craving a big doorstep of bread to mop it up…

I tested this recipe at home and it was a big hit, as well as cooking it for the active ladies at Beetroot Bootcamp who asked for the recipe, so here it is…

You can also thicken this soup up into a stew by adding a little more quinoa and a little less liquid, and if you want to, chuck a few dumplings on the top. Stodgy dumplings are a winter favourite with my less carb-conscious WholeHealth-ers…

I’ve included the dumpling recipe below for if you fall into that camp :-)

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 clove of garlic chopped

1 red or yellow pepper, finely diced

2 carrots finely diced

A sprig of fresh thyme

A tin of tomatoes

A big handful of quinoa-add more to make the stew

About a pint of vegetable stock. **Add more or less water to get the consistency you prefer

A couple of big handfuls of kale. Check for and remove any tough stalks and chop if in large pieces

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Method

Gently heat the olive oil and soften the chopped onion and celery for about 5 minutes over a low heat.

Add the chopped carrot and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 1 minute.

Pour in the tin of tomatoes , and add the quinoa with the stock.

Bring to the boil, and then simmer gently for about 20 mins until the quinoa has uncurled and the vegetables are soft but hold their shape

Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy.

Bonus Dumpling recipe:

100g self raising flour

50 g butter

50 g grated cheddar

pinch of salt

Mix the flour with the salt

Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it has all disappeared and you just have a sandy, breadcrumb-y mix. Stir in the grated cheese, and some chopped herbs-parsley is good-if you like.

Add about a tablespoonful of cold water and bring the mix together with your hands. Shape it into about 8 walnut-sized balls and float them on top of the stew. Put it all in the oven at about 200 degrees until the dumpling are browned on top.

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