You know that saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”–that perfectly explains how I feel right now. I don’t know why I’m always so surprised when I get sick at the beginning of each fall. It happens every year when the weather begins to change, lasts for at least a week, and makes me absolutely crazy. Thankfully, because of my sweet husband, my wonderful coworkers (who forced me to stay home from work), and gigantic bowls of soup, I’m finally on the mend!
The biggest bummer all week occurred last night: I was supposed to go to a concert with my mom, but still felt too sick to go. I was so upset that I lounged on my couch and watched Love Actually for the five-millionth time while drowning my sorrows in Quinoa Minestrone soup and homemade almond butter. Not together, though–that would just be gross.
No, instead I heated up a couple bowls of soup, which I quickly inhaled. Once I had finished off the last of the soup, I spooned freshly made almond butter onto rice cakes. After a couple of those, I decided that the rice cakes were simply getting in the way and opted instead to eat the almond butter straight from the jar by the spoonful. (I’m probably the only person who gains weight from getting sick). Once my movie was over and I’d eaten everything in sight, I began watching the E! Special of Kevin and Dani Jonas. I couldn’t help myself–I was delirious and didn’t know what I was doing I don’t know which was worse: the fact that I ate a pound of almond butter or that I actually cried over a Jonas Brother. Please don’t judge me. I’m a sucker for love stories!
The truth is, had I made more of this soup, I would have finished that off, too. You would think after all of the soup that I’ve eaten this past week–including an entire batch of Acorn Squash soup–that I would be tired of soup by now. No way Jose. Instead, I debated whether or not to make more of this soup today. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m out of groceries, it’s pouring outside, and I’m physically unable to get my lazy butt off the couch, I definitely would have done it.
This is the perfect soup for the changing weather. I ate this Quinoa Minestrone for lunch, snack, and dinner for two days and never tired of it. The best thing about minestrone is that there’s no set recipe: you can toss in whatever ingredients you have on hand and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be delicious. In this version, the quinoa complemented the soup wonderfully–it enhanced the flavor and added some bulk to the soup without making it too heavy. Just a warning: you may want to double this recipe–you’re going to want to have lots of leftovers
- 1 Tbs. coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, diced
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- ⅔ cup quinoa (preferably soaked overnight, or rinsed well)
- 3 cups veggie broth*
- 2-3 cups filtered water*
- 5-6 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- optional: 1 15-oz. can of white beans (cannellini or navy), drained
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or stock pot over Medium.
- Saute the onion and garlic until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, red bell pepper, zucchini, and green peas. Season with salt and pepper and add the rosemary and bay leaves. Stir well and allow all of the ingredients to simmer until the veggies begin to soften, approx. 10 minutes.
- Next, add the broth and water and stir well. Rinse and drain the quinoa and add it to the mix with the tomatoes and beans (optional). Stir well, turn the heat to Medium-Low, cover, and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
- When the soup is ready, remove the bay leaves and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.
- Ladle into bowls, serve, and enjoy!