To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.
– Laurie Colwin
Beat the winter blues with this simple Minestrone Soup.
Winter is here!! Sooner than I expected. We had our first snow fall, a few weeks back. In winter, of course the days are short and nights long. I would love to spend my entire day inside the house, sipping on hot chocolate, sitting by the fire place, reading a book or watching Netflix. But duty calls!!!
Well, enough about me. How about you?
Are you the philosophical person who takes time to reminisce about the past and do some self-examination? Do you conduct a retrospective of the year so far and promise to do better next year? Do you believe that winter is the harbinger of the better times to come? Is this the time you promise yourself a new beginning?
Or may be you are the type of person who looks forward to the celebrations and enjoy the Christmas lights in and around the neighborhood? May be you look forward to be pampered or pamper your family and friends on Christmas day? Do you look forward to having tons of snow just because you love to ski? Do you get fascinated by the falling snow flakes and imagine you are watching a snow globe?
Do you miss the chirping of birds, the greenery around you? Does the cackle-y quack of the migratory geese annoy you? Do you wish for the spring to come soon or do you take pleasure in the soft white powdery snow around you? Do you think of winter as the end of a year or as a herald of something new?
May be you are somebody who is so busy to even stop for a minute and contemplate what is happening around you? May be you have to rush to pick up the kids or you have a deadline to meet before you go on your vacation? Or are you too busy planning and preparing your vacation? Are you looking forward to meet your family and loved ones?
What ever you do, take a moment to stop whatever you are doing, relax (more like a note to self), promise yourself that you will be a better person than you were a moment ago, believe in yourself, strengthen the idea that whatever happens, happens for good (again, note to self) and enjoy a healthy, nourishing bowl of this delicious Minestrone Soup.
Learn How to blanch tomatoes to be used in this recipe.
More from the web: a few links for you to explore different styles of Minestrone Soup
- What is for Lunch Honey
- Learn more about the origins of Minestrone Soup
- Whole Foods Market
- Jamie Oliver
Beat the winter blues with this minestrone soup packed with vegetables, beans and quinoa. Hearty & delicious.
10 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 3 Tomatoes (Medium sized); blanched
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves; finely chopped.
- 1-2 Whole Red Chillies; optional
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
- 1/2 cup diced Celery
- 1/2 cup diced Carrots
- 1 Potato (medium size; wash & peel); diced
- 1/4 cup Black Beans (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 cup chopped Kale Leaves; tightly packed
- 1/4 cup Quinoa (See Recipe Notes)
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz) Vegetable Broth (See Recipe Notes)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Toasted French Baguettes
- Chopping Board
- Big Sauce Pan
- Small Sauce Pan
- Small Bowl (optional)
- Fork to fluff quinoa
- Serving Bowls
- Blanch the tomatoes, peel and roughly chop them. Finely chop/dice all the other vegetables.
- Heat oil in the sauce pan and add the finely chopped garlic and whole red chillies. When the garlic browns lightly, add the onions.
- Fry the onions for about 5 minutes till they turn light brown.
- Add chopped celery, carrots and potato and stir for couple of minutes. This caramelizing of vegetables brings out the flavor.
- Add the vegetable broth and the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the black beans and chopped kale leaves.
- Cover with lid, and simmer for 40-45 minutes on very low heat.
- In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, dry roast the quinoa till it becomes aromatic and you hear popping sound.
- Transfer the roasted quinoa to a small bowl and rinse it with running water by gently rubbing the grains between your fingers. (Rinsing quinoa is optional).
- Place the sauce pan back on the stove, add 1/2 cup water, the rinsed quinoa and bring it to boil.
- Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook till all the water is absorbed.
- Uncover and fluff gently with a fork.
- Once the soup has simmered for about 45 minutes, all the vegetables will be well cooked. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the soup to a quick boil and turn off the heat.
- Place a little cooked quinoa in the serving bowl and top with soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with chopped basil leaves and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.
- Serve it with slices of toasted French Baguette.
1. Instead of black beans, you can use kidney beans or garbanzo beans as well. I use the canned black beans. If you are using dry beans, I would suggest soaking them for at least 5-6 hours and pre-cook them before adding to the soup.
2. You can use spinach leaves instead of kale leaves.
3. You can substitute quinoa with pasta(elbow macaroni works well). Cook pasta separately according to the package directions.
4. Adding pasta/quinoa just before serving prevents them from turning mushy if you have to reheat the leftover soup.
5. You might need a little more vegetable broth/water to adjust the consistency of the soup, especially the leftovers.
6. Using whole red chillies is optional.
7. Nutritional values are approximate and are based on the assumption that this recipe serves about 5 people. While calculating the nutritional value, the garnishes and the bread served as a side were not included.