This vibrant, vitamin-packed soup is so easy to make, yet it tastes ridiculously good! The bonus is that it’s low in fat and calories, yet it fills you up to make you feel satisfied. The surprising ingredient is quinoa – which enriches and thickens the soup, adding valuable protein and giving an interesting texture and flavour. Recipes by Sue Ashworth on behalf of quinoa from Peru.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
100g red or white quinoa
1 large red onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
30g piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 litre hot vegetable stock
200g young leaf spinach
200g low fat soft cheese
3 tbsp milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, then put it into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and double the volume of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes for red quinoa and 8-10 minutes for white.
At the same time, put the onion, leek, garlic and ginger into a large saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Drain off any liquid from the quinoa, and set to one side.
Reserve a few spinach leaves for garnish, then pack the rest into the saucepan with the other vegetables – it will soon wilt. Cook for 2 minutes.
Puree the soup with a hand-held stick blender, or transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add 150g of the soft cheese and blend again. Stir in the quinoa and re-heat gently. Season to taste.
Mix the remaining soft cheese with the milk, stirring until smooth. Serve the soup topped with a swirl of the soft cheese mixture, a couple of spinach leaves and a little more black pepper.
Cook’s tip: Cooking the spinach for just a couple of minutes means that it keeps its lovely bright green colour – and means it retains nutrients too.
© Cover Media