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Winter Minestrone + Quinoa Soup

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

I would argue that having a soup like this up your sleeve is a modern cooking must. The fresh ingredients are long lasting root vegetables, and the rest of the soup comes together from the pantry. It’s completely adaptable to use up whatever’s in your fridge and to suit whoever will be seated at the table. Oh, and the flavors only improve after a few nights in the fridge!


  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Carrots (medium sized, about 1 cup)
  • 2 ribs Celery (keep some leaves too if they’re connected)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided and possibly more, to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 4 cups Water (divided)
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 ounce Parmesan Cheese (include the rind if you can find one!)
  • 2 15-ounce cans Cannellini Beans (drained but not rinsed)
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 12 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg (freshly grated or skip it!)
  • 2 cups Frozen Peas

Cooking Instructions


    Peel and dice the onion into small cubes. Set aside in a small bowl.

    Wash and dice the carrot into the same size (I say scrub it and don’t peel!). Dice the celery, also the same size. If it has leaves, chop those separately and save for garnish. Add carrot and celery to the onions, into the same bowl. Mince the garlic and add it too.

  • 2. SAUTÉ

    In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmery, add the chopped veggies and add ½ of the salt. Sauté for 5 minutes.


    Make a well in the veggies so you can see the bottom. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir for 1 minute until its fragrant and incorporated in the veggies.

  • 4. LIQUID

    Add the stock and ½ of the water. Turn heat up to high and bring soup to a boil.

  • 5. QUINOA

    Meanwhile, place the quinoa, a ½ teaspoon of salt and the rest of the water in a smaller pot (ratio should be about 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water, and ½ teaspoon of salt). Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn it down and partially cover. Steam for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. You can let it rest for up to 20 minutes off the heat and covered while you wait for the soup to finish.


    If you have any parmesan rinds, drop them in the soup. Drain the beans and add them. Add the black pepper, dried thyme and nutmeg (if using).

    Simmer for about 10 minutes longer. Taste a spoonful and see what you think. Consider another pinch of salt if needed, or maybe it’s delicious. Stir in the green peas and cook for 2 minutes.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve large bowls of soup. Spoon the cooked quinoa and mound up on one side for pretty presentation. Garnish with grated parmesan and any chopped celery leaves you may have set aside.

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  • BEANS:
    navy beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, adzuki and kidney beans are all great options
    omit beans and add cauliflower rice or a chopped head of cauliflower while cooking
    this recipe is a natural for any sliced cabbage or kale you may have to stir in
  • PALEO:
    omit quinoa and consider adding cauliflower rice, diced sweet potato or diced squash
    with the onions, sauté ground sausage or ground turkey before adding tomato paste
  • ONE POT:
    if preferred, pour the quinoa directly into the boiling soup and simmer for 15 minutes that way
    if your kids eat soup in general, just adjust the ingredients to make sure they have a vegetable or bean they enjoy in there. If they don’t eat soup, serve the quinoa separately and perhaps a spoonful of the beans and veggies too. You can microwave the peas and serve those on the side

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

Make entirely. Leftovers are delicious!

Rate this recipe:
4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 54 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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