Stating the Obvious and a Perfect Soup
February 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’m probably stating the obvious here, but in case you didn’t know, it’s snowing again.
That’s all I have to say about that.
A certain kind of weather calls for a certain kind of food.
Hot, humid, summer days beg for fruity, icy popsicles.
And cold, snowy, winter days beg for nourishing, hot soup (and copious amounts of red wine. After 5:00 p.m., of course. Although today may be an exception. What time is it now? 9:30 a.m.? It’s 5:00 somewhere, right?).
Anyway, I love this soup. I’ve made it at least 4 times this winter. And despite its name, it’s not just for the holidays.
Thanks to Angela at Oh She Glows for yet another winner of a recipe.
This is hands down one of my all time favourite soups! Not only does it look festive just in time for the holidays, but it tastes incredible and warms the soul. It packs a wide array of seasonings and spices from cinnamon, nutmeg, and vegetable bouillon, to the saffron and curry. Somehow it just all works together magically!
Inspired by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked (I used regular quinoa this time – pwa)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped*
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (not low sodium)
- 6 cups water, boiled
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used 1 28 oz. can this time – pwa)
- 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15 oz can) (I used 1 25 oz. can this time – pwa)
- 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
- Pinch or two of cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing) (I didn’t use saffron this time – pwa)
Directions: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.
Makes about 8-10 cups.
*I usually don’t buy zucchini (or tomatoes) in the winter because it just doesn’t seem right to eat them in the winter. They grow in the SUMMER and should be eaten in the summer. However, I really do like the zucchini in this soup, so I made an exception to my rule.
I also used more diced tomatoes and black beans than called for in the original recipe because I had the larger cans on hand. I often follow a recipe to a T, which results in little Tupperware containers of leftover diced tomatoes or whatever taking up space in my refrigerator. I have the best intentions to use the leftovers, but of course they sit and sit and sit until they look like a mold-growing experiment.
Luckily, the extra ingredients did no harm. It’s still soupy, not stewy. I added a little more cinnamon and nutmeg at the end, but that’s it.
The result is a warming, feel-good soup that’s great mopped up with a piece of sourdough bread.
And accompanied by a glass of red wine.
Stay warm and safe if you’re weathering the storm somewhere.
Peter and I will be hanging out, pretending to drink Play-doh hot cocoa, and singing songs like “Cocoa-cabana” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Tuesday.”