Let’s continue this little theme of lesser-known greens, shall we? The farmer’s market last weekend was very exciting because I learned about a new green I didn’t know existed! Quinoa, the famous Andean super-grain, features edible leaves that I predict will also become a superfood once the word gets out. Why? Because they have 7 times more iron than spinach, and a whopping 23 times more calcium! And apparently, they can be used in recipes similarly to how you would use spinach. Needless to say, I needed to experiment with these exciting new greens. After tasting them raw, I found them to be a little bit crunchier and milder tasting than spinach, without the chalkiness that spinach sometimes has (especially when you cook it). Since I haven’t posted any soup recipes yet, I figured this was the right time. This pureed soup has a wonderful rich flavor, yet still feels light and healthy due to its all-vegan ingredients. It was remarkably easy to put together and a definite keeper I will be making again and again. Serves 4.
- 1 large bunch of quinoa greens (to yield about 2 cups of the leaves), thoroughly washed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter substitute (my favorite brand is Earth Balance)
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp (or 2 cubes) of veggie boullion/broth powder (my favorite brands are Rupunzel and Seitenbacher – both can be found at natural foods markets)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
In a soup pot, saute the chopped onion in the olive oil and vegan butter over a medium-high flame. stirring periodically until the onion clarifies and turns slightly golden.
Next, reduce heat to medium-low. Pluck the quinoa leaves off their stems (ok to leave the smaller stems on) and add to the pot along with the fresh garlic. Add salt and pepper. Continue to saute, stirring periodically for about 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, veggie broth powder, and water and mix. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or carefully transferring to a blender), puree until you get a bright green, smooth and velvety soup. Season with additional salt to taste.