Today was one of those gorgeous Autumn days perfect for pairing outdoor time with kitchen dealings. I put the chicken bones on to simmer, pulled a bunch of our garden veggies from the chest freezer then set out for a hike.
Swaths of withered leaves now crunched underfoot. Crows cawed and the Pileated's insect search echoed throughout the woodland's withering canopy. I returned to a house infused with the smell of broth.
What I love about soup is its versatility. You can add just about anything you have on hand and it always turns out to be a perfectly warming meal for a brisk Autumn evening. The homemade chicken broth makes this particular batch both silky and hearty. All other additions came from this year's harvest with the exception of the black beans and quinoa (I leave that one up to the Peruvians). Buttered sourdough toasts make a great companion for mopping up the rich broth.
Slow simmer and let the aromatics draw everyone to the table.
Vegetable Quinoa Soup with Black Beans and Spinach: (all ingredients are flexible)
*4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*1 medium onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*2 stalks celery, chopped
*2 sweet potatoes, cubed
*2-3 gold potatoes, cubed
*2 bay leaves
*2-3 cups stewed tomatoes
*1 cup green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
*2 cups soaked and cooked black beans
*1 head broccoli cut into pieces
*5-6 cups homemade chicken broth (see broth making post)
*2 cups cooked quinoa
*3 cups fresh spinach leaves
In a heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and potatoes. Season with bay leaves sea salt and pepper. Cook stirring often until onion is translucent.
Add tomatoes, green beans, black beans, broccoli and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer before reducing heat to medium low. Season to taste. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaves. Add the quinoa and spinach. Stir.
Once spinach is wilted, ladle into bowls and serve with buttered sourdough toasts.