Roasted Vegetable & Quinoa Soup
What a great day for my very first blog: National Start Eating Healthy Day! I have been waiting for this day since becoming a Registered Dietitian this past summer. I was inspired by Ellie Krieger, RD, author and Food Network Star to go back to school and pursue a nutrition education. What an ordeal it was for two and a half years but now I can move on to doing what I love: cooking, creating healthy foods and recipes and telling people about them! This first recipe was created for my mom's 60th birthday party this past weekend. My sisters and I had decided for a fall day we would have a variety of soups and salad and as my 2 year old nephew, Judah calls it, "chocolate bread," (truly it was rye)!
Many of my ingredients come from my dad's garden on the edge of town - well actually he has two. One in the backyard and a HUGE plot of land outside of town. For this recipe I used his squash, zucchini, and tomatoes, both whole and some that I had already stewed and frozen from early summer. The other star ingredient is the quinoa. Since we already had a Chicken Tortilla Soup and Chili (with beef) on the menu I wanted to make plant-based alternative. It was an easy soup to put together and made the house smell wonderful!
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 bulb fennel, cubed
- 1 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 3-4 cloves whole garlic, chopped
- 1/2 of a giant zucchini (add as much as you would like), cubed
- 6 fresh tomatoes, seeded and cut into even size pieces
- 4-5 cups stewed tomatoes (mine also had garlic, parsely, salt & pepper)
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
- Reduced sodium chicken flavoring & 1 quart reduced sodium chicken stock (later when I warmed it up) Use vegetable broth and the soup is a great vegan option
Preheat oven to roast setting at 375 degrees. Prepare all vegetables and chop into similar size pieces. Combine into a large mixing bowl. Use an olive oil spray or spritzer to mist over vegetables and season with salt (not too much!) pepper and dried parsely. Spread evenly onto a 9x13 pan. Roast until softened and slightly browned about 35-40 min, you may need to stir half-way through.
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, pour stewed tomatoes, 3-4 cups water and appropriate amount of chicken base seasoning. Mine was 1 tsp per cup of water. Add roasted vegetables and quinoa to the pot. Add fresh rosemary. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, until quinoa is tender.
I made the soup early in the day and then warmed it up before dinner the same night. The quinoa absorbed a lot of the liquid so I added a quart of reduced sodium chicken stock to reconstitute it. You can add more or less of the vegetables in the recipe and prepare the soup as thick or thin as you like. It would also be great in the thicker form served over spinach or sauteed kale. Yum!
Remember if you use vegetable broth this is a great vegan option. Quinoa is a complete protein in itself which means it contains all essential amino acids which are the ones that our bodies must get from food sources because we cannot make them ourselves. This dish is heart healthy, full of nutrients and a satisfying meal. Enjoy!