Since I have memory I liked eating in a bowl and with a spoon. All that resemble small grains of something I love. Small pasta, rice, quinoa, lentils, cous cous. I don’t know what it is but i just love the texture of small grains of something entering my mouth in a spoon.
I used to eat small pasta (fideitos) with ketchup when I was a kid, and then progressively my tastes and culinary abilities have change and improve. But even today I find that those meals that can be served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon are the most comforting ever.
Now Quinoa soup is another story. I am Bolivian and quinoa soup is something we always eat, but always prepared in the same way, with the same ingredients and cut in the same way forever. Bolivian grandmothers do not leave much room for variation in recipes. My grandmother would never think you prepare quinoa soup as this one I prepared today. But there is much more that she seems inconceivable.
The other day I had a phone conversation with her that I’ll remember the rest of my life. We starting talking about my travels and the life I’m living right now, and when i asked her if she would have liked to travel the world, she told me that something like that never even crossed her mind, because she knew it was impossible. Why was it impossible? Machismo. She grew up in a different era and we all know how different thing were back then. Women were supposed to stay home, take care of kids, cook for their husbands, etc.. And she did that and had a happy life, but to me it was shocking to realize that patriarchal society not only takes away women’s opportunities, but it takes away our dreams, and if we don’t have dreams, we have nothing. Although we still remain many battles to fight.
Also, this soup is crazy delicious and packed with so many nutrients. Is also gluten-free and if you skip the grated parmesan is vegan. So let’s cook.
Quinoa, lentil and kale soup
- 1 cup tricolor quinoa
- 1/2 cup lentil mix (you can use any kind of lentils you have in hand)
- 1 carrot, medium size, washed and diced
- 1 small yellow onion, washed diced
- 2 garlic cloves ( I use this beautiful organic garlic ) finely cut
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, clean and diced (I used cremini but you can use the ones you like or have)
- 1 cup kale leaves, washed and cut in small pieces
- 1/2 spinach leaves, washed and cut in small pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup tomato juice ( I use italian passata, but you can use any good organic tomato sauce)
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1.Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the herbs and cook until fragrant stirring constantly. About 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomato sauce or passata and the sugar, stir and cook for a few minutes and then add the quinoa, lentils and boiling water. Add more salt and pepper. Make sure to taste seasoning at this point. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes
3. Add the peas, kale and spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and taste seasoning again. Add more salt and pepper if required. Divide into bowls and add grated parmesan if desired.