Soup seems to be a popular meal this time of year, and with every reason. It's filling, it's usually full of healthy ingredients (so it's a great way to get back to your regular diet after over-indulging during the holidays), and it can be infinitely adapted to whatever you have in your own cupboards or fridge.
I find myself at least once or twice a week making a big pot and enjoying leftovers during the week, or freezing some for later use. In this version, black beans and super nutritious quinoa are paired with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce for a unique smoky flavor that adds a nice spicy kick.
Smoky Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
2 cups cooked black beans
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish, optional
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and carrots, cook another 3 minutes. Add in the cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir to coat.
Pour the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, quinoa and chipotle chile in the pot. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, you should see the familiar little quinoa tail, stir in the black beans and salt to taste. Heat until everything is cooked through. Serve garnished with cilantro.
Jacquelyn Scoggin became a vegetarian at the age of 16 and has since been in the kitchen whipping up meals for her family and friends. She writes and photographs her love for vegetarian food on her blog, So Good & Tasty. In 2009, she and her husband started Slide Sideways, a graphic design and handmade business. They maintain their love for the environment by using organic fabric, recycled paper, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.