I've been eating a lot of vegetable soup lately, once in a while with some sort of small pasta, but I've never made a soup with rice or quinoa before, so I figured it was time. (P.S., I've discovered that I definitely don't like zucchini or other squashes in my veggie soups.) In browsing through my spice drawer to see what I might feel like using, I noticed a bag of sample chiles I had received from Marx Foods a while back but keep forgetting about. Ancho chiles are the ripened and dried version of a poblano pepper, and they have a bit of a smoky flavor to them, so I thought that would be a good choice - I was right. I used a whole chile and ran it through my spice mill, but you might find it already ground in your grocery store's spice or international aisle.
2 cloves garlic
2 large carrots
3 stalks celery
1 large onion
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 ancho chile, choped into pieces and ground (stem removed)
1 bunch spinach
1 can diced tomatoes
32 oz chicken broth (or other broth/water - may require additional)
1 c quinoa
2 c chopped green beans
2 c corn
- Mince the garlic, and dice the carrots, celery, and onion, then saute in the olive oil until the onions start to turn translucent.
- Season with the salt, pepper, and ancho chile.
- Slice the stems off the spinach and slice into ribbons, adding to the pot and stirring until completely wilted down.
- Stir in the tomatoes, broth, and quinoa, and allow to simmer until the quinoa starts to bloom.
- Once the quinoa starts to bloom, stir in the chopped green beans and corn and continue to simmer until the beans are tender.
- Garnish as desired - I always like a sprinkle of Parmesan on vegetable soup, and I had a few stray scallions in the fridge, so I tossed on a handful of those as well.
Because the quinoa will suck up a lot of the broth, you may find that you need to increase the broth - or add some water. I like my soups to be more about the veggies than the broth, so the 32 oz carton was plenty, but when I go back for leftovers, I might find that more of the liquid has been absorbed and might increase the liquid when re-heating.