Hunger. It hasn’t be frequenting me lately. Not that I haven’t been well fed, just that I haven’t had an appetite. That’s merely a symptom of my as-yet-unknown issue. For so many out there, the opposite is true. They’re hungry and not well fed. So, in the spirit of the season, the spirit of giving, I’m a part of Share Our Strength’s Share Our Holiday Table. It’s a virtual progressive dinner party – each day, there’s a new set of dishes by a talented group of bloggers. Today, it’s all about soup. Soup, and raising awareness about childhood hunger in the States.
So, let’s talk about soup. This one, it took all I have. It’s a product of what was filling our fridge and cupboards. You see, yesterday I knew I had to make a soup. The one that would end up being this one. It’s no secret that energy has been a hot commodity for me, so this came down to the wire. I had to make it. Mom grabbed a handful of cookbooks, plopped them in front of me and the wheels started to turn. I wanted something unique and fun. Something comforting and delicious. Quinoa popped into my mind pretty quickly. So did sweet potatoes and beans. Once mom mentioned that we had a few zucchini, I knew where this was headed. After consulting Quinoa 365 on how to actually add the quinoa to the soup, I was off. (Disclaimer: I was sent Quinoa 365 for free, no obligation to review or mention, no compensation, yada yada yada. I’m just telling you the story of how this soup came to be, and that was where some of the ideas came from.) Anyways! Once I got into the kitchen, I started writing a make-shift recipe. After looking in the cupboards, some parts got crossed off, others were added.
It flowed. I wish I could say that I felt great making this, but it’s not the truth. After cutting up a single cup of mushrooms? I thought I was done. I had to stop for longer than I’d like to admit. Each part came, then I crumpled into the couch and listened for the timer as it simmered. When it was all ready and ladled into my bowl, its warmth filled me up. My tummy was happy with this inside it. I almost fell into a nap, but before I could, we had to leave for the doctor. Exhaustion permeating your bones is not enjoyable. The same goes for hunger. Especially in childhood.
I’m so lucky to be where I am. Even if my health isn’t particularly consistent, my plate has always had food, my home is always heated and my family is always near. It always makes me grateful for my circumstances, especially as the snow starts to fly. I hope that this holiday season, you’ll join me in giving to charities like Share Our Strength.
Quinoa Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup potato, peeled and diced
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced (I did a somewhat smaller dice than the potatoes, as they take longer to cook)
4 cups chicken stock (you’ll want one with a good flavour, as that’ll be the primary flavour of the soup).
1 cup zucchini, diced or sliced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
~2 tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup canned mixed beans, rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste
In a pre-heated pot or dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Saute the mushrooms, potato and sweet potato until the veggies have softened, about 8 minutes.
Add stock, zucchini, tomatoes, parmesan, quinoa and beans to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked (the rings will start to separate) and the beans are heated through. Season with salt and pepper (I did a turn or two of each), and serve.
So simple. It doesn’t have a lot of liquid, but with the warm flavour of the chicken broth permeating the quinoa, I didn’t miss it. If you did, you could add some additional heated stock when serving.
It has a character of chicken noodle soup. You know, the kind without chicken or noodles ;). You could always play with the veggies – add your favourites, or add whichever spices fit with your palate and the accompanying flavours.
As I mentioned before, I’m not the only one posting a soup today. This whole week in fact is filled with all sorts of lovely treats. There are tracks, so you can find recipes that match what you’re looking for (though, there is guaranteed to be some overlap of categories with this group!). With that said, I hope that you enjoy all of our soups today!