The thing that really excites me about cooking at home is knowing EXACTLY what it is I’m putting in my food. I hate shortcuts. Whether that’s readymade pie crust or microwavable mac and cheese, I use shortcuts only on a last resort basis.  The first things I wanted to get my hands on when I got home were some fresh veggies and spices.

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To make good use of these new ingredients, I tried this recipe, modified from Angela Liddon’s blog “Oh She Glows”. Whenever I feel like I need something healthy, even if it’s dessert, her blog doesn’t disappoint.  This soup is a delicious example of what she has to offer. And for those against having soup as a meal, prepare to change your minds after the first spoonful! What makes this soup so special is the combination of spices. You will not believe how well they work together!

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Ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
  2. Pinch or two of cinnamon
  3. Pinch of ground nutmeg
  4. 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  5. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  6. Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)
  7. 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
  8. 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  9. 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
  10. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  11. 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  12. 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  13. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  14. 1 vegetable bouillon cube (full sodium)
  15. 6 cups water, boiled
  16. One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  17. 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)

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Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent.
  2. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 7 minutes.
  3. Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve.
  4. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavors will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. And for the topping don’t forget chopped walnuts and ground pepper. They make this soup even more gourmet!

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Here’s to healthy eating!

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Enjoy your break!

- Ania ‘13