Meatless Monday's Go West for Flavors

This weekend turned rainy and the grey day begged for a pot of soup.  I was pleased that my pantry was stocked with all the ingredients for this very flavorful soup that is even better the next day.  So,...

This weekend turned rainy and the grey day begged for a pot of soup.  I was pleased that my pantry was stocked with all the ingredients for this very flavorful soup that is even better the next day.  So, I turned a rainy Sunday into a cooking day.  I will pair this hearty soup with a big and bold green salad.  I will not opt for a bread or cornbread, but these would be excellent choices as added sides.

Southwest Themed Soup
Southwest Themed Soup

Southwest Quinoa Soup – adapted from Chris McLaws – Good Earth Catering in Park City, Utah

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 -2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 – 5 cups water or homemade stock.   I suggest flavoring water with Bouillon if you are not making homemade stock.  I prefer Better than Bouillon’s All Natural Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base.  I have re-posted a quick version of homemade vegetable stock.
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons natural taco seasoning.  I opted for a  low-sodium variety to cut back on the salt.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 - 10 ounce can green or red enchilada sauce. I prefer the red sauce over the green.
  • 1  -  ounces can diced green chilies
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups of frozen corn.  If you can find roasted frozen corn, use this variety for another layer of flavor.
  • 1  - 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1  - 15 ounce can kidney beans ( I have substituted black eyed peas here too!)
  • 1 -  15 ounce can of tomatoes – I prefer Hunt’s Fire Roasted variety if you can find this option.  Another place to layer flavors.

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions and carrots in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic and sauté another 3 -4 minutes.
  3. In a large stock-pot, add in stock, quinoa, taco seasoning, turmeric, cumin, bay leaves, enchilada sauce, green chilies, frozen corn, black and kidney beans, and tomatoes.
  4. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook about 20 – 25 minutes until quinoa is cooked in this liquid.
  6. Adjust seasonings at the end.

Garnish Ideas:

Dress with chopped cilantro, avocado, scallion and/or Greek yogurt.  Serve with a green tossed salad and a slice of whole grain bread or cornbread.

Homemade Vegetable Stock – re-posted

Ingredients:

Full gallon freezer bag loaded with vegetable discards.  My bag this week included:  ribs of kale, carrot and zucchini ends after a shredding project, onion skins and bruised onion skins, very small garlic cloves, celery leaves, asparagus tips and mushroom stems.

Directions:

  1. Cover these frozen vegetable discards with 5 cups of water.
  2. Season this with salt and pepper to your taste.
  3. Bring to a simmer on the stove in a Dutch oven for about 35 minutes.
  4. Strain off the golden liquid and use as your homemade stock.
  5. This will yield about 4 cups of vegetable stock.