Soup is the ultimate winter warmer. I love to make a big pot of this comfort food. While I love a smooth, silky, pureed soup, there’s something satisfying about the chunkiness of minestrone where you get to experience different textures. This soup has all the flavours synonymous of your typical minestrone, but instead of adding unnecessary carbs in the form of pasta, I’ve replaced it with quinoa which fills you up but not out You can freeze this in portions if you’re not ready to use it all at once and just defrost after a long day at the office. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you planned ahead when gobble this up!
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
- 2 zucchini, diced into 1cm cubes
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
- 350g butternut pumpkin, diced into 1cm cubes
- 2 tomatoes
- 50g English spinach, leaves only and sliced
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 750ml vegetable stock
- 250ml water
- 400g diced canned tomato
- 1tbs tomato paste
- Chervil, to garnish
- Chilli flakes, to garnish
- Fill a medium sized pot with water and place over a high heat and bring to the boil. While waiting for the water to come to the boil, prepare an ice bath. Core the tomatoes and using a pairing knife make a small ‘X’ slit on the base of the tomato. Place the tomatoes in the water for about 30 seconds or until you can see the tomato skin slit all the way up the tomato, then put straight into a water bath. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then peel the skins off the tomato and dice the flesh. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté until softened and translucent. Add the stock, water, canned tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce the temperature to medium, add the quinoa, carrots, zucchini, parsnip, pumpkin and tomato and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove from the heat and stir through the spinach. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with chilli flakes and chervil to serve.