Those of you who happen to live here in LA may know of the Real Food Daily organic vegan restaurant. Although I’m not a vegetarian I do try to incorporate a lot more of the veggie dishes in my everyday food. My missus being a veggie and me being the overly healthy Irish guy, we’re always on the lookout for good quality vegetarian places such as this. I’ve been going to RFD for the past 5 years or so and I really like their food. Some of our friends are nervous to try such healthy vegan food but there’s an abundance of soy meat dishes, or what I call fake meat, on the menu so I get my fix when we go. (I gotta be a good hubby and throw the girl a bone now and then, though having said that, I probably request going here more than she does…hmmm…) One of the things they do really well there are their soups, except their bowls kinda blow but that’s another post.
Ann Gentry, RFD’s owner, came out with a cookbook a couple of years back so this is one of her recipes that I slightly adapted. The use of quinoa here is brilliant. Quinoa is all over the shop these days and for good reason, esp. for vegetarians since it contains high quality protein. It’s the bomb diggity.
NOTE: I made this soup last night for dinner but I played around with it a little mainly due to not having all the ingredients in my house. So for my version I marked them in red below on the recipe. An for my own little touch I added some fresh kale that I had in my fridge. I removed the stalks and chopped those in place of the celery. I added the chopped leaves at the end a few minutes before serving.
Makes a big o’ pot
3/4 cup quinoa (I used Inca Red)
1 tbsp canola oil (olive oil)
2 onions, finely chopped (1 1/2 onions)
3 carrots, peeled & finely diced (omitted)
3 celery stalks, finely diced (omitted, used 6 Kale stalks instead)
2 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup yellow corn kernels (1 ear of fresh corn) (1 can low-sodium since it’s not corn season)
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp sea salt
12 cups (3 quarts) vegetable broth (I used about 10 cups of 1/2 stock, 1/2 water)
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
6 Kale leaves – washed, stalks removed & chopped, leaves rolled & chopped
1 jalapeno – seeded, fine dice
Rinse the quinoa well in cold water then drain. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the quinoa and stir constantly for 10 minutes or until all the moisture evaporates and the quinoa crackles and becomes golden. You’ll be able to smell them toasting. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Saute for 12 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add zucchini, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Saute for 3 minutes longer or until vegetables begin to release their juices. Add stock, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the toasted quinoa and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the quinoa is tender. Squeeze the tomatoes into the soup and add the juices from the can, then stir in the cumin and coriander.
Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the cilantro and kale leaves and season to taste with pepper and more salt if needed.
Recipe Courtesy: The Real Food Daily Cookbook
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.