Meatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup

This entry was posted on Feb 8, 2016 by Charlotte Bell.
meatless mondayMeatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup

I love soup in the wintertime. Slow cooking a pot of soup on the stove seems to warm my drafty, old house. The fragrance lingers for hours afterward. A pot of soup makes more than one meal, relieving the cook of the responsibility of planning and cooking at least one meal later in the week. And the best part: leftovers are even better than when the soup is freshly made, after the flavors have had time to integrate.

I love all vegan and vegetarian soups from scratch. But I especially like to find soups that serve as meals in a single bowl. This soup, from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s sassy cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance, features protein-rich quinoa and black beans. The other thing I enjoyed about making this soup is that it includes mostly pantry staples. Except for the cilantro and avocado, everything I needed to make it was already in my kitchen.

Black Bean Quinoa Soup from Vegan with a Vengeance

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (I used frozen, oven-roasted garden tomatoes from my 2015 crop)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch pieces or so
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 24-oz can black beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

For serving:
Avocado
Tortilla chips

Put it together:

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute with the onions for a few seconds. Then add tomato, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute or so, just to break down the tomatoes a bit.

Add quinoa, carrots and bay leaves, and then pour in 2 cups of the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes or so, until al dente (that’s mostly tender with a little bite.)

Add the remainder of the broth, the black beans with their cooking liquid, and the cilantro. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove the lid, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes or so, to cook the quinoa the rest of the way.

Taste for salt and seasonings and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to marry. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with crushed tortillas, avocado and cilantro.

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.