There is something about soup that warms your bones – isn’t there? I think that’s why I’ve been on such a soup kick lately – because that’s what we all seem to need these days: warmth.
Life gets so busy and so fast – and then a cold, or a heartache, or our spirit simply says, “Since you won’t choose to slow down, I’ll choose it for you…” and rest is graciously forced upon us.
Well, the other night my sweet Kenna was in her ‘resting’ period. A low grade fever and cough had taken away her basketball practice and her gymnastics class. She was on the couch with a good book and a kitten curled up at her neck… and I filled up her belly with this beautiful “Love Soup”.
Why “Quinoa Love Soup”? Because it’s a spin on a traditional italian wedding soup – but without bread crumbs and pasta, and with the addition of quinoa. (I also don’t go through the step of pre-cooking the meatballs or adding egg to the soup. My recipe is quicker and simpler, but doesn’t compromise on flavor.) And, can I just tell you: it’s light, savory, and chalk full of nourishing and healing ingredients. Your bones will love you for it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3/4 pound of ground hamburger (NOTE: I buy hamburger with 20% fat because it has better flavor than the lower fat options.)
- 3/4 pound of seasoned italian sausage
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced and smashed with a fork
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 1 head of escarole, washed and chopped into 1″ strips (NOTE: You’ll have to find this at a local grocery store that offers a greater produce variety)
- 3 large carrots, washed and peeled
- 4 cups of pre-cooked quinoa
- fresh grated parmesan (for garnish) (NOTE: The taste of fresh grated parmesan is totally different that parmesan out of a can. Do yourself a favor and ditch the canned parmesan… your taste buds will thank you)
- Make meatballs: Blend together the hamburger and the italian sausage and form into small 1″ balls. Place finished meatballs in a single layer on a plate. Set aside.
- Heat a large soup pot and add 1/4 cup EVOO to pan. Sauté your onions and garlic until onions are translucent, stirring constantly so that garlic doesn’t burn.
- With your stove on high, add broth to the pot and slowly drop uncooked meatballs in. Once broth comes to a rapid boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and cook for 6-8 minutes.
- Add in chopped escarole and, with a large spoon, push all greens down into the broth so they begin to wilt. Then, take your carrots and create carrot ribbons by peeling the carrots directly into the soup. Cover and cook another 3-5 minutes on medium high.
- Turn off heat. Add in your cooked quinoa.
- (NOTE: If you need more “soupiness”, you can add additional water one cup at a time.)
- Ladle finished soup into bowls and top with fresh grated parmesan and black pepper.
It’s an easy winner. I promise…