It seems almost everyone has at least heard of quinoa these days, even if they haven’t got around to trying it yet. But it also seems that a lot of people don’t realise just how versatile this grain can be. Sure we can throw it in a salad, or serve it as a side in place of rice, but who knew you could put it in a soup or stew? Certainly not me, until last night.
I was trawling through Instagram in search of inspiration, as I often do, when I happened across a post using quinoa in a soup. It looked so damn delicious that I just had to have it, but unfortunately I didn’t have the suggested ingredients. Undeterred, I decided to go my own way and hope for the best. And this is the result: a delicious, comforting, spicy, soupy stew, packed full of goodness and flavour. And yes, it’s vegan and perfect for my detox plan, but once that’s over do you think I’m just never going to make this again? I don’t think so. No no, this one will be sitting firmly on my list of favourites for a long time to come.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 small sweet potato, diced (or half a large one)
2 handfuls chopped kale, stalks removed
1/2 cup dried red lentils
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1L veggie stock
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
Start by prepping all your vegetables, then heat a heavy-based saucepan over low-medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Sweat off the onions and garlic until the onion has softened, then add the carrot, celery, sweet potato, tomato paste, red lentils and spices. Give it a good stir then add the veggie stock and water. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, then return to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the lentils are cooked, add the kale and stir through, before turning off the heat and folding through the cooked quinoa.
That’s it! So simple, so delicious, and perfect for leftovers the next day — I got 4 decent serves from my batch.