Quinoa and White Bean Soup

Yes, it is officially Spring but if you live in the Midwest like I do it doesn’t always feel that way in April. Temperatures still hover around the 30’s at night and a hot bowl of soup for dinner is not yet out of the question. This soup has lots of protein with white beans and quinoa and is chock full of veggies and lots of flavor with a variety of garden herbs. The key to bringing out as much flavor as possible in this soup is the cheese rind. A Parmesan Cheese rind is preferred in this recipe but you can truly use anything…I had a 5 year aged Gouda cheese rind that I used and it was delicious – just the right amount of salty aged flavor!

Winter's Almost Over Quinoa and White Bean Soup
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 3-inch piece Parmesan Cheese rind
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Parmesan Cheese and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, thyme, oregano and rosemary and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the basil, parsley, Parmesan Cheese rind, white beans, wine, chicken broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the herb sprigs and rind. Place about 1 cup of the soup in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the quinoa to the remaining soup in the pot and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the puree and simmer 5 minutes more.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some of the Parmesan and drizzle with some of the olive oil before serving.