Sometimes I get really excited about a recipe because it sounds delicious, but it almost seems too easy—do you know what I mean? Like, am I about to get duped here? Am I going to end up with a so-so meal? Maybe I’m too skeptical, but I’ve been let down before.
This soup sounded both delicious and easy, and it proved to be even better than that—it’s amazing! And so easy! The recipe comes from my friend Megan’s brand-new cookbook called No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day. All of the recipes are vegetarian (mostly vegan) and gluten free, with short ingredients lists and prep times.
I love Megan’s approach to detoxing—the term often makes me think of scary juice fasts and extreme measures, but there’s nothing extreme about this book other than the ease of the recipes. She shares simple recipes made from whole foods that support your body’s natural detox mechanisms.
Plus, she shares tons of real-world tips on how to eat well when you’re short on time, money and energy. Megan manages to run a blog, write cookbooks, work as a greeting card designer, and raise two adorable kids all at the same time. She definitely has a few tricks up her sleeves and doesn’t let excuses get in the way. I’m the queen of making excuses and overthinking, so I’m taking notes.
I am especially pumped about her tips for pressure cooking, since I just caved and bought an Instant Pot. (Have you guys tried pressure cooking yet? I’m scared. So many buttons. The unopened box is resting nice and cozy next to my hamper.)
Anyway, her book’s full of recipes that look and sound delicious, and seem easy enough for busy weeknights. This hearty Mexican quinoa soup hit all of those marks. I could eat this soup every day until spring and I just might, since it freezes well.
Megan modeled this recipe after chicken tortilla soup, but made it a hearty vegetarian soup with quinoa and black beans. It tastes remarkably fresh and flavorful, thanks some basic aromatics, herbs and spices. I love that she used water instead of vegetable broth, too—something to consider in future soup recipes. Please let us know how you like it!
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (I opted to use 1 tablespoon olive oil instead)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- 3½ cups water
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups cooked black beans or 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ cup quinoa (dry/uncooked)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (for extra heat, optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Optional garnishes (my ideas): extra chopped cilantro, small wedges of lime, diced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream...
- In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the water, tomatoes, beans, cumin, salt, quinoa, cilantro and cayenne pepper (if using). Season with pepper and bring the soup to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is tender, add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. You can serve this soup right away or use an immersion blender to purée a couple cups of this soup—this helps to thicken the soup while still leaving some texture (I may have overdone it a bit).
- Divide into bowls and serve with any garnishes that you'd like. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.