THE BLOG
11/15/2014 05:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Stay Warm and Healthy With Kale and Quinoa Minestrone Soup

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(This recipe originally appeared on elizabethrider.com)

Baby, it's cold outside! Stay warm and healthy with this equally delicious and satisfying soup.

One of the things I love teaching my clients the most is how to incorporate kale, quinoa and other superfoods into familiar favorites. Using new ingredients can be daunting, but after a few tries these healthy additions will be your new go-tos.

Minestrone-style soup is so great because it's so flexible. Use any kind of dark leafy greens that are a good price that day (collards or chard would be delicious) or switch up the garbanzo beans for kidney or white beans. This is a great way to turn what you already have in the fridge or pantry into a fantastic meal.

There's no need to massage the kale since we're gently cooking it, but if you have massaged kale that you want to use up it works perfectly.

I cook the quinoa before I add it to the soup since cooking it in the soup soaks up a little too much of the liquid. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and packed full of protein and fiber; I like using it here instead of the traditional small noodles usually found in minestrone soup.

Kale & Quinoa Minestrone Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, chopped small
  • 1 large carrot, chopped small
  • 2 ribs (preferably with the leaves) of celery, chopped small
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1-2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes (including juices)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 quart vegetable or organic chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch laticino kale (aka black kale or Tuscan kale), stemmed and chopped into about 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of dried quinoa, prepared according to package instructions*
  • fine sea salt (I use Real Salt brand)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • purified water
  • optional: 2 no-salt-added vegetable bouillon cubes for extra flavor, one for the soup, one for the quinoa

Recipe:

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, a large pinch of sea salt and pinch of black pepper and sauté 5-6 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the garlic, dried basil, and oregano and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. (If using fresh basil, wait to add until you add the kale.) Garlic burns easily, so watch it carefully or reduce the heat until you add the liquid. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook another minute. Then, add the beans, stock, 2 cups of purified water and a veggie bouillon cube if using; turn the heat to high to let it come to a boil for one minute. Reduce the heat to medium low, then add 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar plus all of the cooked quinoa and chopped raw kale. Cook 5 minutes then turn off the heat. Allow the kale to wilt for another 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature to freeze or refrigerate.

*Quinoa is easy to prepare. I like to rinse mine in a fine mesh colander before cooking it. Add double the amount of water to the quinoa you are cooking (1/2 cup dry quinoa needs 1 cup water). Combine the quinoa and water in a small pot, bring to a boil, then simmer 12-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. I like to add 1 no-salt-added veggie bouillon cube to the boiling water, too, to add extra flavor. Quinoa stores beautifully in the refrigerator up to 4 days, so I always cook double what I need to use in a recipe later in the week.

Bon appétit!

Elizabeth Rider is a leading nutrition and whole living expert helping women around the world become even more successful by teaching them not just how to live well, but how to become the absolute BEST version of themselves. From personal wellness to career, spirituality to finances--and more--consciously cultivating the ideal lifestyle is her religion.

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