Minestrone Soup With Quinoa And Lentils

2015 Minestrone

Built around the well-loved, traditional Italian meal-in-a-bowl, this Minestrone Soup does away with the pasta and replaces it with high-protein, gluten-free quinoa and is packed with seasonally harvested veggies and hearty lentils. Feel free to play with your own seasonal, vegetable variations or add some that you already have on hand.

Autumn is a time to start adding more cooked, warming foods to the diet and this thick, rich, one-pot meal is easy to prepare and supports to the digestive system at this time of year. I always make a large potful so that I have it on hand in the fridge or freezer for a cold night or for a quick hot lunch.

Curling up with a warm bowl packed with these beautiful ingredients will comfort the soul and satisfy the tummy.

Minestrone Soup With Quinoa And Lentils

Ingredients
  • 1 red onion – medium diced
  • 1 -2 cloves garlic- finely chopped
  • 3 carrots – medium diced
  • 10 mushrooms sliced
  • 3 cups kale (stems removed) or silverbeet/chard – shredded
  • 1 large zucchini – medium diced
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves on – finely sliced
  • 700g jar diced peeled tomatoes or 3 fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 8 cups of water/vegetable stock
  • fresh (or dried) basil leaves
  • fresh (or dried) oregano leaves
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • salt and freshly crushed black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – or enough to cover the bottom of the pot
Method
  1. Rinse lentils under running water and pick through them to remove any foreign matter. Optional- you may also like to pre-soak them for 1 hour prior to cooking in order to aid digestibility.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and sauté 5 minutes until the veggies are soft.
  4. Add the garlic and sweet paprika and cook for about one minute or until garlic begins to colour.
  5. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes and the water/stock, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat to medium/low and add red lentils, basil and oregano.
  8. Allow the soup to gently boil (uncovered) for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking.
  9. Add the quinoa and cover for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the cover, add the kale and more water if needed. Bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or just until the kale is tender.

Garnish with fresh oregano (and optional freshly grated parmesan).

Enjoy.

Baked Sweet Potato With Winter Slaw and Hummous

baked sweet potatoe with winter slaw

Winter is vata season and according to Ayurveda the space and air elements combine to create winter energy.I love how nature always provides an antidote to help pacify possible seasonal imbalances. At this time of year, when the earth element is lacking, root vegetables, which grow into the ground, help to bring us down to earth.

This quick, seasonal meal harnesses the benefits of winter’s offerings and combines the sweet root vegetables with a good range of essential fats including omega-3, which we require and metabolise well during the colder months.

Baked Sweet Potato With Winter Slaw And Hummous

Serves 4

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • diced avocado
  • 400g cooked chick peas
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • himalayan salt
  • pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed oil
  • 1/4 green cabbage
  • 2 baby beetroots
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 bunch chopped coriander
  • apple cider vinegar
  • olive oil

Slice sweet potatoes lengthways and place in a heavy baking tray and roast for 40-60mins, or until very soft.

Meanwhile, place chick peas, tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil into food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend until paste is smooth.

To make slaw salad shred cabbage, beetroot and carrot. Chop coriander and toss through salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Once the sweet potato is cooked pile with salad, diced avocado and a big dollop of hummous. Serve immediately.