Friday, December 23, 2011

Quinoa Minestrone Soup | gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free recipe

As much as I try to feed my children healthy, nutritious food, I admit that sometime its hard.  Like when its the holiday season, you have one son with mono and another whose teething like crazy and you're up far more than you want to admit in the night.  Sadly one of the things that tends to slide in those tough motherhood moments is the food and as of late the boy has had more lunches consisting of hot dogs or grilled Daiya cheese and ham sandwiches than I'd care to admit.

That said when I got my act together and made him some homemade fish sticks, yam fries and kale chips for lunch the other day he eagerly gobbled it all up.  This simply reminded me that his tastes are tailored to healthy, delicious foods because that's what I feed him and so I realized its time to get back on track; poor food choices should never really be an option.

So I pulled out my Quinoa 365 book and made one of my favourites, Quinoa Minestrone.  It's fairly thick and I consider it a stoup (thanks Rachael Ray for coining the term), in fact I like to use a scant measurement for the quinoa just to keep it a little thinner.  This stoup is delicious fresh and although the flavours are still great the next day, the quinoa just keeps absorbing the liquid and it gets quite thick the next day, so this time around I opted to make a half batch, which was more than enough for the three of us with one bowlful leftover.  This soup takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, veggies chopping included, so its more than possible to decide to make it at 11am and have it on the table in time for lunch.

This is a great meal for the entire family, the baby happily enjoyed this stoup with us for lunch; he's moving to chunkier foods and I was surprised to find that he was happy to eat it without any pureeing.  You could try making it without cheese and pureeing for younger babies, but the cheese (Daiya in our case) really gives the soup a creamy texture and taste.  The original recipe calls for parmesean, so if your family eats dairy please feel free to re-substitute it back in for the Daiya).
quinoa minestrone
Quinoa Minestrone Soup
Adapted from Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Soy-Free)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Daiya vegan cheese
  • 1 cup thinly sliced spinach
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion, carrots, potatoes and salt until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and liquid, stock, quinoa and garlic, bring to a boil. 
  3. Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until quinoa and vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and half of the the Daiya cheese.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spinach and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Ladle into bowls, top with remaining Daiya cheese and enjoy!