Thursday, 11 November 2010

NCR: Quinoa Soup and Archeology

My life feels like an archeological dig lately. Everywhere I turn I am sifting through layers of papers and other detritus and I find myself travelling back through periods of time in my life. In the last few weeks I have cleaned out my old car, my old office and my home files. Likewise when I cook I often feel like I am excavating my fridge, which is always bursting at the seams.

Cooking a Curried Quinoa, Chickpeas and Red Lentil Soup last week brought back memories. Oh, that’s right there was the mashed pumpkin leftover from making scones, shriveled mushrooms I forgot to give Sylvia, quinoa that I made for the gf sausage rolls, and old parsley that the neighbour gave me. I even found the bag of scraps I had been keeping in the freezer and made some stock.

However my greatest discovery while making the soup for dinner was the leftover tofu scramble that I had put aside for another meal. My energy was flagging so I turned off the soup to sit overnight and served up the scramble.

My plans of soup and scones for dinner were completely scuppered. I had already started baking Deb’s Apple and Cheddar Scones but they was too sweet for me. Not at all the apple and cheddar scones that I seek, even with reducing the sugar. I prefer this attempt better. Nevermind, it used up some cream and apples lingering in my kitchen and I did like the idea of lightly roasting the apple before baking the scones. I also disagreed with Deb that they had to be eaten on the day of baking – I quite liked them on day 3.

But the real star of last week’s cooking was the soup. It is not something I would usually make but it was a great way to use up leftover quinoa. Even the stock that seemed slightly bitter to taste, added the right depth of flavour to the soup. I would even venture to say it got better after sitting for a while. Full of flavour and textures, it was spicy and satisfying. E loved it too and even Sylvia (who wont eat my soups) ate the chickpeas out of it. One to make again and again!

I am sending this to Lisa for No Croutons Required, the inspiring vegetarian soup and salad blog event that she runs with Jacqueline every month. The theme in November is quinoa.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year:
The Wall, Rose Petals and Biscuits
This time two years ago:
Rogan Josh with variety

Curried Quinoa, Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup
Inspired by Kevin’s guest post on Zesty Cook
(makes 5-6 servings)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp promite (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tsp chilli paste
  • shake of smoked paprika
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 5½ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 2½ cups cooked quinoa (I used black quinoa but any colour will do)
  • yoghurt and parsley , to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a stockpot.. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until soft. (About 15-20 minutes – I actually turned it off after about 5 minutes and left it while I ate dinner.)

Add the remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning. Simmer for 10-15 minutes til the lentils are cooked (I cooked mine the night before eating so I just brought it to the boil and left to cool).

Serve with yoghurt and fresh parsley.

On stereo: John Denver’s Greatest Hits


  1. Let's see... I love chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, curry, ginger, spice, smoked paprika... yep, this is definitely a winner!

    And I must say, I've always kinda loved excavating the past while "cleaning" up old drawers and things. However, I always seem to end up "neatening" rather than throwing things away. I need to get more hardcore with my nostalgia! :P

  2. I could go for a bowl of this tasty soup right now. Thanks so much for your entry to NCR.

  3. Curried quinoa is pretty delicious, I really love it. I think it's a great combination with chickpea and lentil.

  4. What a fab soup! It looks hearty and filling. Bonus - it would use up a lot of leftovers that I have - I'd only have to buy quinoa. Love the fact that someone else stocks promite - I prefer it to vegemite (although I'll eat both, I only stock promite at home).

  5. this looks amazing. scuppered also and excellent word. xo

  6. This does sound like a hearty and satisfying soup--and it would clean out my fridge, too! I like the analogy of excavation. . . seems I am constantly under a pile of rock (or paper, or scissors!) that needs to be moved before I can do anything as well. ;)

  7. This looks great, i'm always looking for more quinoa recipes. Will bookmark it for winter :-)

  8. That looks like a healthy bowl of nourishment! :D I really like curried soups, especially in Winter!

  9. Looking at that soup and reading all of my favorites in the ingredients has gotten me hungry! I feel like I'm always digging my way through papers also. This weekend - the archaelogical dig/clean-up shall commence!

  10. Thanks Hannah - I am not one to usually get hardcore with nostalgia and yet I have been searching for information lately because I had it and threw it away - never again!

    Thanks Lisa - I must make it again as I could eat a bowlful now

    Thanks Quinoa Diet - indeed!

    Thanks Cakelaw - I only stock promite too but can eat vegemite when out because I grew up eating vegemite and started eating promite as an adult - I think promite gives better flavour in soups than vegemite

    Thanks Carla - yes I love 'scuppered' - I think I learnt it from E with his scottish words

    Thanks Ricki - I tend to shuffle around piles when I want to feel like I am cleaning (hope my mum doesn't read that!)

    Thanks K - I am looking for more quinoa ideas too - hope there will be a few at the NCR round up

    Thanks Lorraine - I tend to avoid curried soups but love them when I have them - don't quite understand why I avoid them

    Thanks Joanne - good luck with your archeological dig :-) wish I could say one was going on here over the weekend but unfortunately not!

  11. Thank you for coming by earlier Johanna. As always, it is most appreciated and kind of you.

    Your spin on this Quinoa soup is delicious. I love the flavour combinations. I'd make this today, if I hadn't already made a batch of spinach and lentil soup. Maybe next time though, once I've picked up some smoked paprika. I don't seem to have any in my cupboard. The only kind of quinoa I have seen is the traditional version, not red or black. Intersting to see the range out there.

  12. We eat lots of quinoa, but I'd never have thought of putting leftovers in a soup - will have to try it now.

  13. Here is a yummy, flavourful and filling soup!All my fav ingredients in a soup and a great way to use smoked paprika (i have been puzzled by smoked paprika ever since I bought a cute tin not knowing that it was inside...)

  14. Hi! Soup looks GREAT, saw it from Lisa's Kitchen.

    My question is, do you think it would be ok to use green lentils? If so, should increase or decrease the cooking time? Thanks!

  15. Thanks Mango cheeks - I was amazed to find black quinoa in my local supermarket (in the the health food section)

    Thanks Choclette - soups are the perfect vehicle for some many leftovers

    Thanks Sweet Arthichoke - I love using smoked paprika - and often include a dash in many savoury dishes - it is great in tomato soups and cheesy dishes

    Thanks Chelsea - I am sure this soup would work well with green lentils but yes you would need a longer cooking time - about another 10-15 minutes is my guess but if you just test them you should get a feel for if they are still quite hard or almost cooked.

  16. That's too bad about the apple and cheddar scones! I was just looking at that recipe again today thinking I should make it soon.

  17. I just made this on the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed a bowl for my dinner last night!! So delicious, easy and super healthy - YUM!


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