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Kale & Quinoa Soup

 

Those of you who were on Facebook and Twitter last night,
and experienced my impromptu “cook-a-long” may wonder what prompted me to make
soup, from scratch, after 10 p.m.
And that would be a valid question.
Yesterday I had a small bout of LPS (Little Pouch Syndrome,
or, when you just get full very fast with very little food). I won’t go into my
theories about the causes of LPS (because this is a food blog) but let’s just
say it…er, cleared itself up late in the evening and then I was FAMISHED!
Being that it was late and it was, like, two degrees
outside, I wasn’t even remotely tempted to go outside the house to get
something indulgent. And everything in my house is WLS approved. So since it
was cold, and I was hungry, I figured, why not make some soup?
(PSA) People…stay in good communication with your veggie
bin. Seriously. I have toned down my farmers market addiction (I used to buy
WAY more than I could realistically consume before it all went bad and I’m
notoriously too lazy to vacuum seal it most of the time) but still. I had lots
of veggies that were well on their march homeward. So I knew that there would
be some veggie action going on. But seriously. Check the veggie bin. Your
veggies didn’t ask for this life. It was your choice to buy them. So use
them!!! (/end PSA)
This particular kind
of soup was actually inspired by my friend Denise who invited me to a soup
potluck recently. Ultimately I was unable to make it to the gathering but
before that came to pass I gave great thought to what soup I would bring and
decided on a kale and quinoa soup with white beans that I found on Google.
But you know me…(at least I hope you do)…I like to play with
my food!
So here’s what I came up with. What I like about this soup
(as demonstrated from your comments during the cook-a-long) is that there are a
million different directions you can take it in. That’s to say if you don’t dig
what I did to it, put your own spin on it!
Best of all, it doesn’t have a bunch of ingredients and
literally takes about 30 minutes to make. And I made it all in one deep skillet
(easy clean-up)!
Nik’s Kale and Quinoa Soup
(This recipe yields a good deal of soup. Halve this if you
will be the only one eating it!)
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into slivers
  • 1 pkg. smoked sausage of your choice, sliced (I used just
    regular Polish sausage but Andouille would also be nice if you want a Cajun
    feel or some companies make great flavored chicken sausages!)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. kale, stems removed and rinsed
  • ¾ c. quinoa (I used red quinoa, use whatever you like best)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) white beans (I used Great Northern,
    but cannellini would be good as well OR if you wanna be different, try garbanzos
    for extra bite!)
  • 2 c. water
  • Your favorite spices/seasonings/flavorings. I used:
    • Garlic
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Red Pepper flakes (1/2 tsp.)
    • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Directions:
Spray down a deep skillet with nonstick and let it get HOT
on the stove.
Add your onions and cook, stirring constantly, about 3-4
minutes or until they begin to brown a little.
Add sausage rounds and continue to cook, stirring, until
sausage begins to crisp on the outside.
Add one of the cans of broth (or, if halving, half of one can)
and stir any bits from the bottom of the pan. Top with kale and seasonings and
then cover the pan and allow it to cook about 10 minutes or until kale begins
to get tender and darken in color.

 

Add second can of broth and quinoa and stir it into the
mixture. Cover again and allow it to cook an additional 10 minutes. The quinoa
is done when it the ring pops out of the grain and it is to your desired
tenderness (note that quinoa is a hearty whole grain so it’s never going to get
“soft” like rice does).
Add your beans and water, then drop your heat to medium-low,
cover and allow it to cook 10 more minutes or until the kale has reached your
desired consistency.

 

What you see in the picture at the very top is my final bowl
of soup with a little goat cheese on top. That was absolutely perfect because
the way I spiced it, it needed a bit of tang. I thought the vinegar was going
to deliver that tang (and it did a little bit) but the goat cheese put it over
the top!
Anyway, this soup is warm, comforting and it was way
healthier than most other things I might be inclined to eat at 10 p.m. Give it
a try using the things you like. And if it turns out well, snap a pic and send
it to [email protected]. I’d love to share what you did!

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe – I love Quinoa and had been looking for a new recipe with the red Q. I won't be able to make it quite yet, because I'm just a week and a half after surgery. I've tolerated everything I've eaten so far, so I expect that I will not only be able to eat this, but love it too. Thanks again!

  2. Making this for tomorrow nights dinner thank you

  3. Planning to make this weekend. I hit the farmers market and restocked my kale. And I might throw in celery and carrots in the mir poix with onions. Thanks for sharing! How do you think a can of diced tomatos would work in it? Like you, I like experimenting and changing things around. 🙂 And kale and tomatos kind of go together.

  4. Looks delish… definitely going to have to give this one a try, especially with the goat cheese finish. Superb as always, Nik… some things don't change! Keep up the excellent work… – tori