This easy, one-pot kale and quinoa soup is packed with great nutrition and lots of savory flavor! It’s a filling, healthy choice when you want to shape up, lose weight and feel great. Perfect for #MeatlessMondays too!
Kale and quinoa soup is one of my favorite detox meals. It’s a total nutrition powerhouse, and at less than 200 calories a cup I can feel good about eating till I’m full. When I want to lose a few pounds or feel better after a wild and crazy eating spree, I whip up a batch of this kale and quinoa soup and I’m on my way back to my happy place. And it’s delicious. Love!
Let’s talk kale.
Kale is one of the detoxiest foods out there. It’s fat free, low calorie and so full of fiber that even a modest amount is filling. I don’t like to take chances with feeling full, so I pack about half a pound of kale into my kale and quinoa soup. My motto is better safe than hungry. Would that read well on a t-shirt? Maybe?
Mind Body Green put together this cool post on the top health benefits of kale. I urge you to check it out because it’s a quick and awesome read, but here’s the summary: kale is awesome. Literally almost all of our body systems, brain and heart included, run better when kale fueled. When our bodies are running well, we feel good mentally and physically, we think better and we use calories more efficiently. So having a soup we can stew up half a pound of kale in is major. I don’t know if you’ve eaten a ton of raw kale, but to me it’s not nearly as fun as having it in soup. Kale in soup is pretty fun, and I’ll get to that in a sec.
There’s only one thing healthier than kale. And that’s kale + quinoa. Don’t let those tiny grains (which are really seeds) fool you. They’re small but powerful. Even more powerful than my love of peanut butter and the snooze button.
Quinoa is up there with kale in terms of mindblowing healthiness, and again Mind Body Green has put together an excellent post with lots of info. But here’s the good stuff: quinoa is protein-rich, really important for plant-based folks. It’s also a great source of iron and antioxidant minerals, again with that helping our bodies run at their best thing, and super high in fiber. So between these two fiber-mad ingredients, kale and quinoa soup packs a whallop of fiber that only the phrase “shit ton” can adequately describe. There’s a shit ton of fiber in this soup, folks. And from a nutrition and health perspective, and a weight loss perspective too, that’s awesome.
So we want kale, we want quinoa, and one of the best ways to have them together is in kale and quinoa soup. Raw kale, which I swear I literally cut my hand on once, stews up to a lovely, delicious, just slightly but not too chewy texture in soup. Quinoa is pretty much down with anything you want to eat it in. Soup is no exception.
One of my favorite things about this soup is you make it in one pot. Start with the seasonings and veggies, add the quinoa, add the liquid, finish with the kale. Simmer all that down for a bit, then dig in.
I like to add celery, carrots, onion and a handful of simple seasonings to my kale and quinoa soup, and it comes out rich, savory and satisfyingly flavorsome. I use common stuff like garlic powder and smoked paprika to up the depth of flavor, and I use a little cooking wine and some lemon juice in cooperation with very conservative amounts of salt and lower sodium tamari (or soy sauce) to fool the palate into thinking it has a little saltiness. Because we all love salty soups! And truly, nothing is sadder than a bland bowl of kale and quinoa soup.
One thing I don’t add is purchased vegetable stock, even the low sodium kinds. I just can’t get it where I live. My town has a Wal-Mart, two (two!) tractor and farm supply stores, three or four gas stations and a bar called The Toasted Monkey. We’re not getting a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s anytime soon.
So if you can get that seriously legit low sodium veggie stock, feel free to use it. I haven’t tried my kale and quinoa soup with stock, but it’s probably good. If your only option is the “lower sodium” stuff, which just means lower than the regular kind and it’s still a freaking sodium bomb, I advise skipping it. Anything with 20% of your daily recommended sodium allowance in a single serving…c’mon now. I’m looking at you, Swansons. You can do better than that.
So here’s what’s up. Kale and quinoa soup is
- easy to make
- satisfying and tasty
- packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients that help us feel good mentally and physically
- relatively low calorie, considering how nutritionally powerful those calories are
- a great choice when you’re trying to lose weight or just need a little detox
- vegan, gluten free friendly and made with whole, clean ingredients
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
This easy kale and quinoa soup is packed with great nutrition and lots of savory flavor. It's a filling, healthy choice when you want to shape up, lose weight and feel great. Perfect for #MeatlessMondays too!
10 minPrep Time
65 minCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 Tbs olive oil (or your favorite oil)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 c uncooked quinoa
- 1 15 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can no salt added tomato paste
- 6 c water (or low/no sodium veggie broth/stock)
- 1/4 c red cooking wine
- 1 Tbs lower sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave (or your favorite sweetener)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- about 18 c (1/2 a pound) kale leaves, large stems removed
- Add the oil, onion, celery and carrots to a large cooking pot over medium heat.
- Saute about 10 minutes.
- Add the seasonings and quinoa and saute about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and add a splash of water if they start to burn.
- Add all the remaining ingredients in order.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, put a lid on the pot and simmer 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water as needed to maintain the consistency you like (I like mine a little on the thick side).
- Store leftovers in the fridge for a week.
[img src="http://eathealthyeathappy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/kale_quinoa_soup_nutrition.jpg" width="248" height="298" class="aligncenter size-full" title="Kale and Quinoa Soup Nutrition Facts" alt="Kale and Quinoa Soup Nutrition Facts"]
Here are some of my other favorite soups, and some chilis too. Enjoy!
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