Hearty Quinoa Vegetable Medley Soup

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No apologies this time because I never seem to learn. So, let me just jump to what I am about to share – a simple recipe for an incredibly satisfying soup that I really, REALLY hope you all will try to make at least once – especially as the leaves start to change colors and the air begins to get crisp!

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I was browsing through the web looking for inspirations to use quinoa and potato in a simple, yet satisfying recipe. Yes, it was a weeknight yesterday, but since I was able to get home a little earlier than usual, I had a little extra time to put into prepping dinner. This is not an original recipe of mine. It just altered this a bit, but this is largely a Taste of Home recipe.

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All you need is a combination of your favorite soup vegetables and quinoa (any kind will be fine, but the tri-color blend I used was phenomenal) and voila, you can whip up this soup without much fuzz. Trust me, if you make it once, you are going to want to make it again (how about topped with a bit of crumbled bacon bits next time!).

Here is an amusing aside (or something to make you go what a fool!)!

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Addition of jalapeno was a great idea to add a much appreciated kick to the soup. Of course, this particular jalapeno happened to be a super spicy one. I am the type of person who tinkers around in the garden with bare hands, minces up spicy peppers like they are just little fruits and pulls hot pans out of the oven with just a kitchen towel or paper towel! Yes, I never learn and I have scars to prove Last night was a repeat of the familiar story. Just as I rinsed my hands (yes, no scrubbing under nail) after mincing the jalapeno, I must have promptly rubbed my left eye lid. Initially, I just felt a weird sensation and I wasn’t quite sure what that was. Then, I felt it – the much familiar burn of hot pepper smear! Ouch. Then I remembered the coconut oil in the pantry. Ladies (and gentlemen), if you ever experience a similar thing, just dab a bit of coconut oil (REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HANDS REALLY WELL BEFORE APPLYING) on the affected area. Grit your teeth and go about your work for 3 ymin or so. It’s like a miracle, how the simple oil just eases away the burn!

Now, jump on to the recipe and enjoy this delightful bowl of soup for your next meal! I am already dreaming about enjoying the leftover for lunch tomorrow!

Hearty Quinoa Vegetable Medley Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 – 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 cup chopped potato (I used russet for creaminess)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (de-seeded if you prefer the soup mild)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 32-oz vegetable broth
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup light cream
1 tablespoon crumbled dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation
1) Heat a large stock pan over medium heat and dry roast quinoa for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the quinoa to a bowl and return pan to heat.
2) Add the oil and saute the onion, garlic, carrot, red pepper, jalapeno and potato for 3 minutes.
3) Add the flour and stir in, breaking up any lumps. Continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes.
4) Add the corn kernels and the vegetable broth, cover and cook on medium low heat for 25-30 minutes till vegetables are tender and quinoa is cooked through.
5) Stir in the milk, light cream and thyme. Adjust seasonings with a dash or salt and pepper, as needed.
6) Let simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: This soup can be topped with a bit of grated cheddar or a dollop of sour cream. For an extra indulgence, you can also sprinkle a few crushed tortilla chips.

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Creamy Potato-Broccoli Soup

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I love creamy soups – broccoli-cheddar, baked potato and leek….But if you order them at any restaurant, you can be assured of ingesting few days’ worth of sodium and fat! So, I usually reserve these cravings for times when I can prepare these at home.

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I usually resort to a roux-based sauce made with 1% milk and a bit of light cream – if I am particularly brave! Mix in some 2% reduced fat or regular cheddar cheese and I promise you, you won’t miss the full-fat version! In fact, you might actually not even feel a tiny speck of guilt going for a second bowl! At least I didn’t! 🙂 Lastly, instead of typical chicken or vegetable broth, I used just water. With the addition of crushed dried herbs, taste was not sacrificed. Feel free to substitute this with broth if you so choose.

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Even though the title says potato-broccoli, I did amp up the veggie count by adding plenty of chopped carrots, celery and bit of red pepper. This soup was quite hearty without having to chow down on a bread roll – although go for it if you must!

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Creamy Potato-Broccoli Soup

  • Servings: 4-5
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Ingredients
2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into small cubes
2 stalks of celery, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
3 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup light cream
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat or regular grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon powdered cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1. In a small pan, melt butter and lightly toast all-purpose flour to prepare a roux base. Remove pan from heat, let cool and stir in milk, light cream and powdered cheddar, if using. Set aside.
2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté all the vegetables except broccoli, onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add crushed herbs, water, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes till all the vegetables are cooked through.
4. Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the roux mixture and bring back to a low boil and let cook for 3 minutes or so. Stir in grated cheese.
6. Serve immediately.