As we enter fall in New England, days are cooler, daylight is shorter and our desire for comfort food is growing. When we get home from our long crazy work days, I am looking for something that is easy, hearty and healthy.
Most Sundays before we head to the grocery store, we pull out a few cookbooks and look for our meals for the week. We like to plan out our week of...
- What time will you be home?
- What nights are you out?
- Do we have anyone for dinner?
This works well because it allows us to get the ingredients we need and it gives us new recipes to try. The last thing I want to do, at 6 PM, is look at a package of chicken and think, what am I going to do with this?
This white bean soup recipe actually came from Pinterest and I pinned it to my "I want to make this board". I use this board as a resource when I want to try something new without looking through cookbooks. I save everything from simple appetizers to delicious desserts. When I saw the soup, I knew I could make it up ahead of time and use it for dinner or lunches all week. Anytime I can mix beans with tomatoes and quinoa, I know I have a delicious recipe. Add some good olive oil and crusty bread and that's my idea of comfort food.
When I was getting ready to make this soup, I didn't have some of the ingredients, but the great thing about soup is you can improvise. Instead of diced tomatoes, I used whole plum tomatoes. I didn't have kale so Swiss chard worked and I'm sure I could have added spinach as a substitute, too. I may not have had all the herbs and spices but as long as I have dried or fresh thyme, basil or parsley, I know I'll end up with a tasty dish. After years of cooking, these are the little things I can feel confident about when I have a recipe and maybe not all the ingredients. My best advice...try something new, what's the worst thing that could happen? Sometimes the biggest culinary disasters can end up being the best meals or create a few laughs and a quick trip for take-out!
This soup came together easily with a base of carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and quinoa and within 30 minutes the dish is ready to serve. This soup is flavorful and I love the quinoa as a substitute for rice or pasta. I have to remember to use different grains in soup, sometimes a small substitution to a traditional soup recipe can give it new life. So, start Sunday off with the ingredients to this recipe. Try making this soup ahead of time, it's just as delicious when it's warmed up a few days later.
If you have any soup recipes that you would like to share, send them over - we love trying something new!
White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Quinoa
Adapted from The Simple Veganista
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small medium onion, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 (14-15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (28 ounce can) of whole peeled tomatoes, remove tomatoes and roughly chop
6-8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup of red or white quinoa
7-10 Swiss chard leaves, stalks removed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven, over medium heat. Heat oil and add onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, beans, chopped tomatoes, quinoa and the 6 sprigs of thyme.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
- If the mixture looks thick, add additional broth.
- Add chopped Swiss chard and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil.
Serves 4-6 people.