Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spicy Tomato Quinoa Soup

One of the worst things about springtime in Minnesota is the fact that spring is not in any way consistent when it comes to the weather. One day it will be sunny and 70 degrees, and the next day will be below freezing with giant, gusting winds. The temperature has plummeted in the past couple of days and I've found myself back in sweaters and schlepping blankets around the house with me. With this last bout of winter, soup has been extra appealing. I made this spicy tomato quinoa soup for my friends last week, and after getting rave reviews and several requests for the recipe, I decided to share it on the blog. 

I've made the soup a few times now and it's so simple. The prep time is pretty quick, about 20 minutes, depending on how quickly you can cut up vegetables, and I usually leave it to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes before digging in. It's loaded with fresh vegetables, making it rich in Vitamin C, lycopene, and Vitamin A, and the ancient grain quinoa supplies a healthy, lean protein. The soup is gluten free and dairy free, making it ideal for people with dietary restrictions.

What You'll Need:
  • One cup of quinoa
  • Two pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • One red bell pepper
  • One jalapeno pepper
  • Three carrots
  • A lime or two
  • 1/4 cup dried, minced onions*
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • Olive Oil
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Celery Salt
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
*Fresh onion is fine, of course, but seriously - who has time or tears for that? Don't have dried, minced onions on hand? Onion powder is a fine substitute, too.

Here's what you do:
  1. Wash your cherry or grape tomatoes and throw them on a baking pan. Douse those bad boys with olive oil and put them in the oven until the skins starts to burst. Place the tomatoes on a cutting board and pour the extra oil into your soup pot.
  2. Chop up your carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper into consistent, bite-sized pieces. Throw them into the soup pot with your olive oil. Place the pot over heat and saute your vegetables until they are golden brown. As a reminder to people like me, do not touch your face while cutting the jalapeno. Wash your hands immediately afterwards to avoid any mishap.
  3. Chop up your roasted cherry/grape tomatoes. The skins should be so soft that the tomatoes just melt apart. Cut up the skins so they are in smaller pieces. If you're really picky about that stuff, you can throw them in a food processor. Don't worry about the seeds - they cook down into nothing. Note: This is a very messy process and I highly encourage that you wear an apron!
  4. Combine the tomatoes with your sauteed vegetables and throw your spices in. I'm pretty generous with my spices, as I like a lot of flavour in my soup. I'd estimate that I throw in at least a tablespoon of paprika and cayenne pepper, and at least a teaspoon of celery salt and cumin. The amount of spice is all up to you, but make sure you stir it all in so the vegetables absorb the spices.
  5. Add in your onions, vegetable broth, and quinoa. Note for beginner cooks like me: If your broth is from a box, simply put 8 cups of water into the soup pot and throw in the right amount of broth powder.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, and then let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked. Serve with a squirt of lime juice and some crusty bread.


  1. This looks fantastic. Definitely pinning this for later.

    1. Great! Let me know how it turns out for you - it's my first recipe I've shared, so I hope I've explained it well enough (:


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