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Soup a hearty and healthy alternative to start the year

Here we are, basking in a new year, a fresh start, a chance to be better than the last. Why do we feel the need to wish away our past, knowing that it helps shape who we are today? I don’t know, but it does feel good.

After having too many Christmas treats we look forward to coming to a new place of balance – maybe fewer treats, more healthy eating or just living more simply. The idea of not filling our homes with stuff, but being more thoughtful of our environment, kinder to our pocketbook, and slowing down the race.

Being surrounded by food all the time can be a challenge. This time of year I always find myself researching trends, seeing what everyone is craving for entertaining and daily taste – finding my creative juices for another season.  Thankfully I see and hear a lot of information in the shop. Wow, I do see a lot of soup leaving in our bright green bags.

The trend of “souping”  has always been around. Why it’s trendy now is easy: It is flavourful, quick, satisfying and delicious. Essentially, it’s a meal in one pot, and more portable than you would think. A few of the ladies in the kitchen will have soup almost daily and I will have it when there is no time to have a break.

This soup is clean and full of flavour. Nothing settles the tummy like ginger. For 2015 and all it brings, I hope you feel the joy of a new year. Happy cooking!

 

Moroccan Quinoa and Chick Pea Soup

 

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 an onion

1 carrot, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

Half a red pepper, diced

Half a green pepper, diced

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of thyme

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp curry

1 tbsp chopped ginger

4 cups vegetable broth

4 oz tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup green lentils

1 can chick peas, rinsed

1/4 bunch kale, washed and chopped

1/4 cup quinoa or brown rice

Salt and pepper

Chopped parsley

 

In large pot sauté onions, carrot, peppers, celery, garlic, ginger, herbs, and spices, on medium heat. Sweat vegetables until translucent.

Add tomato, paste stir until bright orange (turn the heat down), add vegetable broth, tomato paste, lentils and diced tomato, bring to a simmer and add quinoa.

Simmer until vegetables are tender and add canned beans. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy.

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