Okay, before we talk about soup, let’s get something out of the way.
I had such a delicious meal the other day. It involved FRESH gluten free pasta. From Righteous Cheese, an artisan stand at Union Market in DC. It was made locally in Silver Spring, MD. You only cook it like 3 minutes. Plus, I could taste how buttery it was. Mmmm butter. This deeelish meal also involved this tomato sauce I bought at the Waimea Farmers Market (right next to the Parker School) on the big island of Hawaii. I was excited.
Here are the goodies.
And here is the meal I ate.
Good stuff. Though not quite as good as leftover the next day. Oh well. You win some; you lose some.
Alrighty, back to soup. Actually, now that we are actually going to talk about soup, there’s still something else I have to get out of the way: For some reason, I’m not a big fan of soup.
I like the idea of it. But I don’t like the way everything gets all mushy from simmering in the broth forever, and then I freak out that these vegetables were never fresh and they were dumped in the soup because they were so mushy. And soup never fulfills the expectations I acquire after looking at the luscious pictures on the can. But I think that’s precisely my problem. I’m eating soup from a can. If I’m going to love soup, why not love soup that I have slaved over myself? If I put the veggies in, then I know there’s nothin but good stuff in there. And isn’t that the joy of homemade meals in general? (I say this, having just consumed a meal at California Tortilla. shrug. Humans are not perfect.)
Despite my hesitation when it comes to soup, I couldn’t shake the intrigue of this recipe. When I came across this it on Iowa Girl Eats way back when, my cheese-lovin side got the best of me and I pledged to make this for myself on an especially cold wintery day. That I did.
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
4 Tbsp. butter
1 large carrot, grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 T. cornstarch
3 c. vegetable broth
2 c. skim milk
1 c. dry quinoa, rinsed
3 c. small broccoli florets
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
For this, you’ll need a big ol’ pot (ideally, a Dutch oven). Once you procure that pot, put it on the stove over medium heat and melt the butter. Once melted, mix in the grated carrot and chopped shallot. Saute for about 5 minutes.
Then, stir in 2 c. of the vegetable broth. In a bowl on the side, whisk the remaining 1 c. of vegetable broth with the cornstarch.
Whisk until completely blended, then add it to the pot. Stir the milk in. Turn the stove up a bit to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
At this point, start cooking the quinoa in a separate, medium saucepan. Boil 2 c. of water. Once boiling, add the quinoa, turn the heat down, put the lid on, and simmer for about 12-15 min.
When done, fluff with a fork.
Back to the soup: While the broth is simmering, cut up the broccoli into small florets.
Add the florets and allow the soup to simmer for another 20 min, or until the broccoli reaches the desired texture.
When the broccoli is perfecto, turn the heat off and stir the cheese into the soup.
Dump the steaming hot quinoa in, and give it another good stir.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy 🙂