Quinoa spinach soup

Here’s a super-easy, super-simple recipe that’s perfect for the weekend, when the weather’s getting cooler and there’s nothing you’d like better than to sit down and get all your projects done and not have to think about stopping every few hours to fix up something to eat. Soups are so easy — just chuck everything in a pot and bubble away!

Disciplined folks will have this last them as leftovers for days. Not so much in my case, as what I like to do is keep the pot on low heat on the stove for most of the day, so that whenever I’m feeling peckish, all I have to do is go get a couple of bowlfuls. Sometimes I have to stop myself from finishing the entire thing.

This also yields pretty fast results, as compared to soups with potatoes and other root vegetables where you have to wait for them to soften up. Also, for various reasons I have to stay off potatoes and rice for now, so quinoa makes a pretty good substitute.

Here’s what you need to make quinoa spinach soup:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach

I wasn’t kidding when I said simple. If you want to toss in any spare herbs you have in your pantry, feel free. Oh, since it’s a soup, I think you can take it for granted that there’s going to be salt and chicken/vegetable/whatever broth-of-your-choice involved.

First, get the pot boiling with broth-of-your-choice. While waiting, chop up some onions and get you some garlic:

Chopped onions Garlic

Man, I love me some garlic. All night long.

Quinoa Now rinse your quinoa. Hey, you don’t know where those bulk foods containers have been. It’s been ingrained in me since childhood, from cooking with my mum, to rinse out everything you’re going to wind up eating. Not to mention that in the case of quinoa, you want to be rid of the saponins anyway.

Since it’s going to go into soup, use however much you like, since at any rate there’s going to be a lot of liquid. Tip on how to cook if you’re planning to eat it in a non-soup setting: boil one part quinoa to two parts salted water/broth. You know it’s cooked when the “tail” springs out. Go ahead, cook it: you’ll see what I mean.

Speaking of cooking, it’s way past time to chuck onions, garlic, and quinoa into the pot. Boil, boil, boil.

Spinach Your spinach needs some loving attention too. Remember what I said about rinsing? Go ahead.

Tip: When it comes to rinsing spinach and leeks, the best way is to put them in a bowl, fill with water, swish around, then lift them out of their bath. You’ll see why when you see the dirt left at the bottom of the bowl. It hides so sneakily. Do this a couple more times. Clean food is clean food.

It usually takes 15-20 minutes for the “tail” to spring out. Lower heat and toss the spinach in, let simmer. Spinach cooks pretty fast, so it’s typically okay to add it during the last few minutes of most dishes. You can take it for granted that you can add any additional seasoning at this point.

(If you want me to be honest, after everything’s in, I usually go off and work on my projects, then return whenever that little buzzer inside me goes, “Oh hey, hungry. I guess I do have food ready after all.” It’s fine to have this on low/warm for the entire day — nutrients will go into the soup which will go into your tummy anyway.)

Quinoa spinach soup

There you go! Good as-is or add a dollop of homemade yogurt for tang. Taaaaaaaang.

Conversation snippet: Butterscotch bars

“I had no bread, and I was too lazy to make oat bran or fry eggs, so I made butterscotch bars instead.”

“Butterscotch what?”

“Butterscotch bars. You melt brown sugar and butter together, then add eggs and flour and chuck it in the oven. It comes out like hard candy. So basically I had a whole bunch of brown sugar for breakfast.”

“. . . It seems that would actually take more time and work to make than to fry an egg.”

“Yes, but the end result is so much better!”