My fiancee and I were both hit by the flu bug that ravaged NYC (and other parts of the country, presumably) in January, so for a week or so, neither of us had much appetite, and when we did, I didn’t have energy to do much more than call for Chinese takeout. But now we’re back in the land of the living, and the first thing I wanted to make was soup! Of course.
I was paging through Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction, which I finally picked up over the holidays after eyeing it for years. There, calling me, was a Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Stew. I already had almost everything on hand (I had just picked up the quinoa and leeks at Trader Joe’s the day before, in a lovely coincidence), and I still had frozen collards from our CSA, so I decided to adapt the recipe slightly to tailor to what we already had.
Those are baby carrots hiding back there!
The trimmed leeks from TJs make working with leeks as easy as possible – I’ve always been sort of afraid of leeks, because of the dirt and grit that can linger even after you rinse it, but these are already cleaned and trimmed! It’s cheating, sure, but it’s a baby step.
The original recipe also called for a mix of fennel seeds, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary – I had some of those things, but not others, but I did have a brand new jar of Herbes de Provence on the shelf! It has everything the recipe calls for (except marjoram, I think), plus lavender! It’s a really great savory blend that I recommend picking up if you can. If not, definitely use whatever herbs you like in soup.
This soup has a lot of ingredients, and makes a ton of food, in case you couldn’t tell (that is a big pot in that picture), but it’s really easy to do. Basically everything gets chopped and thrown into the pot!
Plus, I was in a cooking frenzy, so I also made buttermilk buns from The Everything Bread Cookbook, which is my favorite bread cookbook. They turned out pretty well! They fell apart pretty easily, though, so I think that means I kneaded it a bit too much – still trying to figure out my stand mixer’s power!
While this stew looks a little wan in these pictures, it was so good – really, really flavorful, and chock full of really hearty things. I definitely recommend this one – plus, it’s so easy to just sub in anything you have sitting in the fridge!
Quinoa, White Bean & Collards Stew (Adapted from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
1 tsp olive oil
2 thinly sliced leeks
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled & diced (I used a handful of baby carrots)
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
8 cups vegetable broth
2 potatoes, diced
1 cup dried quinoa
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch greens – I used 12 ounces of frozen collards, thawed, but kale, spinach, or any other green would be great!
Preheat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the leeks and garlic in oil with the salt for about 3 minutes. Add the carrot, along with the herbs, turn the heat up to high, and saute for a few seconds.
Add the vegetable brother, potatoes, and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes and quinoa are tender. Add the greens and beans, and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are wilted (or heated through, if frozen). Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 more minutes.