Black Assorted bean and quinoa soup (6 servings)

quinoa+soup.jpg

Hey, readers! I'm back! (Don't call it a comeback.)

I could give all sorts of excuses for why I haven't posted in a while, but the truth is I just haven't been in the mood. It's not that I haven't been cooking or trying new recipes, but I just haven't had the energy to sit down and update lately.

Today's recipe comes from the ever-inspiring Post-Punk Kitchen, a fun and funky vegan recipe blog. I found the recipe while searching for ways to begin using the two-pound bag of quinoa a co-worker generously gave to me. The idea of using undrained beans intrigued me, just because I'm so used to draining and rinsing canned beans whenever I use them. However, I was happily surprised to find that the bean liquid lends a silky richness to the broth -- exactly what this recipe had been missing! I'll have to test out this technique in other recipes in the future.

You will need: 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and rubbed to remove bitter taste
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 24-oz can black beans (I used two 15-oz cans - one pinto and one Great Northern because I was shamefully short on black beans)
  • a big squeeze of tomato paste

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté with a pinch of salt until the onion is translucent. (It's always much longer than the recipe says, at least on my stove!)
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or so. Then add the tomato, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for a minute to let the tomatoes start to break down.
  3. Next, add the quinoa, carrots, bay leaves, and 2 cups of the broth. (Save the rest for the next step.) Cover and increase the heat to bring to a boil; let it boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Finally, add the remaining broth, the undrained beans, and the tomato paste. Re-cover the pot, bring it back to a boil, and then lower the heat and uncover; let the soup simmer for 10 more minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. The original recipe suggests serving the soup with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, and avocado, which would have been awesome if I'd had any of those things!

I'm not especially proud of the photo I took (soup seems especially difficult to photograph) but it does show the silky texture of the broth, I think. The cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes worked well together without any one spice dominating. I'm looking forward to leftovers, since soup is often more flavorful the next day!