|Tomato Quinoa Soup|
Tomato pasta soup used to be one of my children’s favorites when they were young, especially when I used alphabet shaped pasta.
Now that we’re trying to be healthier, I decided to upgrade this simple soup to a wholesome Tomato Quinoa Soup, substituting a healthy grain, quinoa, for the pasta bits. Quinoa is sometines referred to as an ancient grain as it’s been cultivated in South America for about 5,000 years. Quinoa has been grown in the United States since the 1980′s and can be found in natural food stores and even major supermarkets.
Quinoa is actually a seed, a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. However, it is treated like a grain for cooking purposes. Quinoa comes in colors ranging from the more common ivory to red and black, depending on the variety. Before cooking quinoa, it’s important to rinse it well to remove the bitter resin-like coating called saponin. Quinoa is considered to be a complete protein as it has all of the 8 essential amino acids. One cup of quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber.
When cooked, quinoa is fluffy and has a slight crunch. Quinoa is really versatile, easy to prepare and a great backdrop for any flavoring. It can be enjoyed as a hot cereal for breakfast, as a salad for lunch, or in stuffed peppers for dinner. I’ve made quinoa for breakfast and in salads before, but I had never used it in soup, so I decided to try it. It turned out to be an easy, healthy substitute for pasta in this tomato soup, with the quinoa adding a nice texture. Due to its small size, the quinoa went down very easily with the tomato soup. I can see quinoa tossed into any soups for extra protein. It also doesn’t take long to cook at all, just 20 minutes.
Tomato Quinoa Soup
I used fresh tarragon since that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to use thyme, oregano or basil. This soup would also be nice with a little curry powder.
|Quinoa In Soup Goes Down Easy|
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups crushed tomatoes (or a 28-ounce can)
2-3 sprigs fresh tarragon
6 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until vegetables are softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, tarragon, vegetable stock, quinoa, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
More Recipes with Quinoa:
Warm Red Quinoa with Fresh Berries and Toasted Pecans, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Breakfast Cereal, Cupcake Project
Quinoa Soup with Corn, Lisa’s Kitchen
Sopa de Quinoa, Soup Chick
Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup, FatFree Vegan
Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa, Souvlaki For The Soul
Easy Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Nuts and Dried Fruit, Yum Sugar
Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas, gluten-free goddess
Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, gluten-free goddess
Quinoa, Leek & Cherry Stuffing, Dani Spies
Fruity Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Food Blogga
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Foodie Tots