Can winter fare be both vibrant and comforting? I think this colourful soup is proof that it can. Sometimes it feels difficult to pack in as many bright coloured vegetables and fruit into one’s diet this time of the year, but it’s certainly possible. Just think of all the bright colours in season right now – winter squash galore, sweet potatoes, kale, pomegranates, citrus, radish, apples, cranberries, pears, persimmons, etc. If you feel yourself in a cold weather food rut, try busting out some of these into your shopping cart each week. The pop of colour will instantly boost your mood no matter what the weather is like outside. And if it doesn’t, well at least they are pretty to photograph!
Last week, I picked up a couple sweet potatoes because it had been a while since I had any. I usually prefer squash over sweet potatoes, but it’s nice to change it up once and a while. This hearty soup is filled with sweet potato chunks, fluffy protein-packed quinoa, black beans, and is seasoned with cumin, coriander, and chili powder. While it’s a good soup on its own, it really shines with toppings like avocado, cherry tomatoes or salsa, cilantro, crushed corn chips, and green onion, giving it a Tex-Mex flare. Cashew cream would also be nice on top too, as I used in my Raw Taco Salad recipe. If sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, feel free to use butternut squash in its place.
This was hands down, the most fun bowl to eat so far this season!
Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Red Quinoa Soup
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cup diced sweet onion (about 1/2 large)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded if preferred and diced
- 1 large sweet potato (350 g), peeled and chopped to 1/2-1 inch dice (2.5-3 cups)*
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans (one (15-oz) can rinsed and drained)
- fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
- 2 handfuls Spinach or kale leaves, optional
- toppings: avocado, corn chips, cilantro, cashew cream, lime juice, tomatoes or salsa, green onion
1. In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa along with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer covered for about 17 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and keep it covered until ready to use.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large wok or pot. Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Now add in the jalapeno and sweet potato and sauté for 5-7 minutes more.
3. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 18-20 minutes uncovered, or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Just before serving, stir in the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cayenne, and optional spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more spice if desired.
5. Garnish soup with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, corn chips, avocado, and/or cashew cream.
6. Feast on tasty, vibrant comfort food!
I did some major updating on my FAQ page, adding some common questions and I also wrote an update on my knee injury in the running section.
Well, we’re off to our first Christmas party of the season tomorrow and Sunday is going to be dedicated to picking out our tree and decorating. It should be a festive one….just what I love this time of year. Have a great weekend!