This mushroom and quinoa minestrone soup is light and filling at the same time. It’s packed with vegetables and incredibly flavorful.
Even though this soup is meatless, it’s full of protein thanks to mushrooms, beans, and quinoa.
I usually cook the quinoa before adding it to so soups. I do it to get rid of the bitter taste. If you are not bothered by it, you can just put quinoa into the soup instead of pre-cooking it.
I also like to cook the mushrooms separately because I find they taste better that way.
Cooking the quinoa and mushrooms before adding them to the soup might seem like you need to spend some extra time in the kitchen. However, you can cook the quinoa and mushrooms at the same time as you are chopping the rest of the veggies. Quinoa and mushrooms cook quickly and will be done before you finish chopping.
A little bit of multitasking and the soup will taste better.
- 3/4 cup quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa which is a mix of whole grain white, red and black quinoa)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 pound white or brown mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 can (19 oz/ 540 ml) red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- To prepare the quinoa, rinse and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well one more time. This helps to get rid of any left-over saponin residue (a natural insect repellent) that gives quinoa a bitter taste. ( You can skip this step if the slightly bitter taste doesn't bother you. I always soak quinoa first because I don't like bitter foods. )
- Place the quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy and has absorbed all of the liquid.
- To prepare the mushrooms, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, reduced in volume, and the mushroom liquid has evaporated, for about 8 minutes. Set aside. ( To save time, I usually cook the quinoa and mushrooms as I chop the veggies).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, for about 4 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, zucchini and red pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, for about 3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, mushrooms, beans, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir a few times and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and cook for 5 more minutes.
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Serving Size1/7 of recipe
Amount Per ServingCalories 261 Total Fat 9.9g Saturated Fat 1.4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 8.5g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 417.2mg Carbohydrates 35.7g Fiber 8.9g Sugar 8.6g Protein 10.2g