Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup - quick, easy, delicious, and filling enough to be a meal in of itself. Plus it's made with ingredients you probably have mostly on hand already - a perfect recipe to bridge the seasons from winter to spring.
I pride myself on being an almost year-round bike commuter. I've got great all-weather gear, and I'll bike in pretty much any weather. Even on the most miserable day I find it preferable to being crammed into the subway or on the bus.
Last week, though, I had to admit defeat and buy a one-month transit pass. It was -15°C, it was positively dumping snow, and I had yet another virus my sweet boy brought home from daycare. Enough already.
I hate not biking because I really depend on it for a good chunk of my exercise. And I bet you can guess how motivated I've been to bike to the pool in the snow and go swimming these days. Yet it always seems - because life is just like that - that it's the times during which I get the least amount of exercise that I crave the most comfort food. Why is that???
Believe it or not, I actually don't have a good Nutrition Lady answer to the above question. I think it's just one of those things, and probably is rooted deep in our cold weather energy-preserving instincts. Who knows. In any case, it's definitely the kind of weather that makes me crave warm food.
This Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup is an oldie but a goodie. I first published in in December of 2010, so it's been buried deep in the archives of this blog with cringe-worthy photos. I expect that not many of you have made it, let alone seen it. But it's a great recipe, one that deserves your attention (and better photos!) so I'm bringing it back to the front.
I'm willing to bet that, other than the fennel, you probably have a good amount of these ingredients on hand in your cupboard already. Canned tomatoes, quinoa, and vegetable stock are certainly regulars in my own cupboard.
And here's a handy trick: if you don't have the dregs of a bottle of white wine on hand, you can totally use an equal amount of white vermouth, which will last forever in your cupboard. Since I really only drink white wine in warmer weather, I use the vermouth trick for risottos, pasta sauces, and basically anything else that calls for white wine during the colder months. Try it!
Hey Nutrition Lady, what's the deal with fennel anyways?
Friends, I'm glad you asked. The liquorice-y tasting wonder bulb is an amazing source of vitamin C. It is a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorous, and folate. Furthermore, fennel is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and niacin. You can eat the whole thing, root to tip - in fact the fronds are great to toss into a smoothie.
This Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup is light and tasty, with flavours of white wine (or vermouth!), fennel, and thyme, and heartiness from the addition of quinoa. You might put all of the liquid in and think, ahhhhhh, I made a mistake! This soup is too liquidy! But have faith. Once the quinoa cooks up, it'll be nice and thick.
This tomato soup requires minimal chopping, cooks up reasonably quickly, and doesn't require a whole lot of attention. It freezes like a dream and reheats nicely, so it's great to make the full batch even if you're not feeding a large crew. Best of all, it's super tasty, a bit more interesting than plain ol' tomato soup, and certainly with more nourishment to boot. I think you're gonna like it.
Other nourishing soup recipes you might enjoy:
Spicy Carrot Soup with Tahini and Garlicky Greens
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut, Miso, and Lime
Miso Veggie Soup in a Jar
Cauliflower Pea Soup with Mint and Lemon
Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb about 2 cups diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes 400g / 14oz cans
- ½ cup white wine or white vermouth
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- salt and pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat.
- Add onion and sauté for 3-5 min, until translucent.
- Add the garlic, fennel, and thyme and sauté for about 5 min more, until the garlic has begun to turn brown, but not burnt.
- Pour in white wine, and cook for 3-5 min, until most of the liquid has cooked off.
- Add the canned diced tomato and their liquid, and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have started to break down, about 10 min.
- Add vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa.
- Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Simmer until the quinoa has cooked and the soup has thickened, 10 - 15 min.
- Serve with fresh grated parmesan over the top, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
- If you're not a fan of the flavour of fennel, you can swap it out for celery. The flavour is subtle though, and I recommend giving it a try.
- This soup is hearty enough to enjoy on it's own, but also great with a nice piece of crusty bread along side.
- Try finishing it with some fresh basil or parsley, and a grating of Parmesan cheese on top (if you're not vegan). You won't regret it.