Quinoa Vegetable Soup

Sometimes the best recipes come out of a moment of desperation: like, I'm hungry NOW and I don't think I can throw anything I have together to make something delicious---yet you still are able to come up with something. That actually happened to me today. I had a stocked pantry, yet nothing would combine well...or so I thought.
I recalled a recipe I saw on one of my favorite cooking blogs, showmethecurry.com (posted on my sidebar). It was for a quinoa soup. I had basically everything I needed for it, so I went for it, just with my own little spin, simply because I don't have a pressure cooker here with me in Georgia. This soup is really more of a method than a recipe because you can add whatever veggies or legumes you have on hand. I added canned chickpeas and frozen corn, peas, and green beans. It turned out to be just the thing I needed on a cold day.
Quinoa, by the way, isn't a grain at all. It's a seed, or "pseudocereal" that is indigenous to the Andean region of South America. The flavor is similar to rice, in my opinion, but the granules of quinoa "pop" as you eat them, which is very fun.

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 c assorted vegetables and/or legumes (canned or frozen)
4 c vegetable broth
1/4 c quinoa
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and saute until they are tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth and vegetables and turn the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Put a lid on the pan and drop the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa are plump and al dente.

Servings per recipe: 2
Per serving:
Calories: 285
Fat: 5.4 g
Saturated fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1541 mg
Carbohydrates: 40.6 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugar: 7.6 g
Protein: 19.2 g

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