Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vegan Minestrone

Although it's summer out and Toronto is a balmy 25 most days, I was craving soup the other day. Minestrone in particular, so I set out to make some. Maybe I was just missing the cosiness of being home in Vancouver, or maybe some devious thing inside me is getting excited for fall and sweaters and boots. Either way, the soup pot was the only pot I hadn't yet used from a new set I purchased recently, so it was time to break it in.

Making soup for one person is difficult. With inspiration from a few other recipes, I sort of cobbled this variation together, but I think I have enough to last me until next year. I've been mixing the leftovers into stir fry's for a sort of weird pasta sauce/stew hybrid. It sounds a bit bizarre, but if there's anything being a vegan has taught me is to be open to strange combinations. If most of the ingredients sound like they taste good on their own, they usually taste good together. Usually.

In IIN they've been discussing the principles of macrobiotics, which is more a way of life than an exact diet. It involves the quest of always searching for balance, in your life and in your diet. If you are feeling more on one side of the scale, you can try to bring yourself back by eating things more on the other spectrum. I've been feeling a bit out of sorts at the moment regarding the future, and since soup is such a grounding, comforting food, and it helps bring you back.

You could replace the quinoa with another pasta, if you like, but I like the thickness and extra protein quinoa provides.


1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes, blended(14 oz)
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini, diced
6 cups vegetable stock(low sodium preferred)
1 small tin of tomato paste
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup dry quinoa
2 cups packed shredded kale
dried basil, parsley, and a bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lemon

Cook quinoa in 1 1/3 cups water with a lid on the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Don't peek! Fluff with a fork after.

To a large stock pot add the onion, garlic, and oil, and cook til soft(about 10 mins).

Add in the tomatoes, stir and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Add carrot, zucchini, chickpeas, and stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste.

Turn off heat, add quinoa, herbs, s&p, lemon juice, and kale.

This soup tastes better after it's had a couple hours to let the flavours meld, and thickens up a bit!

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