vegan vegetable quinoa chickpea soup

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Sometimes you just need soup. And now that winter has finally hit with a good three or four inches of snow that I am forced to shovel, I am thrilled to come back inside the warm house to be greeted by this hearty, filling, vegan soup. Best part – like most soups, you can experiment and throw in whatever you like, whatever you have on hand.

Vegan vegetable quinoa chickpea soup

Ingredients (you can play with this as much as you like… this is just what I’ve done)
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion or two shallots, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup dry quinoa (I use tricolor quinoa)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoon dry basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 or 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 container (about 15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
28 ounces (about two normal-sized tins) of crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tin coconut milk
Any vegetables you want to throw in
Salt, pepper to taste

In a soup pot, saute the onions/shallots, and if you are using the carrot and celery saute those too. I have not always added these, and the soup is good without them. Add a pinch of salt and continue to saute until soft. Just before adding other ingredients, throw in the garlic and saute for half a minute.

Add the fennel seeds, basil, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, and stir. Add the rinsed quinoa and chickpeas. Stir and saute for one minute or so. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and coconut milk. Stir. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes.

Stir now and again to make sure the quinoa does not stick to the bottom of the pan. After about 15 minutes, throw in whatever frozen vegetables you want to add (I threw in some broccoli). Then at about 20 minutes, throw in the fresh veg that don’t need as long to cook; I added some quartered zucchini and a few cups of baby spinach leaves. Once you add the vegetables let it cook for another five or ten minutes until the veg achieves a consistency you like.

Ugly lockdown cooking: Chickpea quinoa concoction

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I don’t like cooking, and I don’t enjoy shopping for food. Preparing anything beyond just throwing asparagus or broccoli into a roasting pan or whipping spinach and kiwi together in a blender with frozen berries is taxing and not how I prefer to spend my time. But now that we’re facing the dregs of my cupboards, I’m just making whatever is… possible. Something vegan… and ugly as usual.

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Chickpea quinoa concoction

1 cup quinoa (I used a tricolor mix; rinsed)
1.5 cups water
1 tin crushed tomatoes (you could use stewed tomatoes with chilies, peppers, garlic or just plain tomatoes)
1 tin chickpeas, drained (you can of course also use fresh chickpeas)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil (butter if you don’t care if this is vegan)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
pinch of black pepper
pinch of turmeric
pinch of salt

Heat oil in a large pan and add onion; saute for about five minutes, add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the spices (cayenne, cumin, pepper, turmeric).

Increase heat on stove to medium-high. Add the rinsed quinoa, water, tomato. Stir. Add in the chickpeas. Stir again. Bring to a boil.

Stir, reduce temperature to low to maintain a low simmer. Cover the pan, let cook for 15 or so minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for a minute or two.

Serve on its own, with a flatbread, with a dollop of sour cream (or non-dairy sour cream) or whatever strikes your fancy.

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