Quinoa and kale are two of my favourite things to cook with… they’re easy, versatile and taste good! So I was pretty pumped when I came across this Food Matters recipe on my Facebook newsfeed. And it was perfect timing considering we have had a crazy cold snap of weather in Melbourne this week (fingers crossed it’s finally starting to warm up!).
The link to the original recipe is here. I did make a couple of teensy-weensy changes, but otherwise I stuck to the recipe. Firstly I added bacon because I love it. Really, who doesn’t love bacon? Well apart from vegetarians that is! Also, I didn’t have any red pepper flakes so I just left those out. And finally, I used vegetable stock instead of plain water. To be honest the bacon and stock really gave the soup a lot of flavour, so I would definitely recommend including them! I think it would be a bit bland without them.
This soup was just as easy as any other minestrone recipe I have ever made, but the nutritional content was amped up by using kale and quinoa. I actually preferred the quinoa to my usual pasta minestrone.
Oh and this makes a big batch of soup!!! Check out the photo below if you need some proof!
This will definitely be joining my list of favourite soups. Just don’t forget to pop some grated parmesan cheese on top before serving and eat with copious amounts of crusty bread. Yummmmmm!
PS – This was a hard soup to make look pretty in photos! But don’t be put off my the look of it… it tastes amazing!
- 8 slices of shortcut bacon
- 1 sweet onion - medium diced
- 2 celery stalks - medium diced
- 3 carrots - medium diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil - or enough to cover the bottom of the pot
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh zucchini - medium diced (about 1 medium or 2 small)
- 2 cups green beans - cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper - medium diced (bell peppers are capsicums)
- 1.75 lbs of fresh tomatoes or 1 x 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups of water (I used vegetable stock instead)
- 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups kale - stems removed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (or to taste)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (I omitted this in my version)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the bacon onions, carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about one minute or until garlic begins to color.
- Add the zucchini, capsicum and the green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and the stock, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium/low and allow the soup to gently boil (uncovered) for about 20 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and cover for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cover, add the kale and the canned beans (more water if needed) bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or just until the kale is tender.