Quinoa Vegetable Soup

By: Esther Vasa

Organic Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Diced Onion - 1/4th cup
Diced Pumpkin - 1/2 cup
Diced Mixed Peppers - 1/4th cup
Diced Celery - 1/4th cup
Crushed Ginger - 1 tsp
Whole Cinnamon - 1
Star Anise - 1
Green Chilli - 1 (use it whole)
Water or Vegetable Stock - 4 cups
Himalayan Salt to taste
Olive Oil - 1 tsp
Cilantro or parsley for garnishing

Heat up the oil in a soup pot and lightly fry cinnamon, anise, ginger and green chilli. Do not crush cinnamon or anise and do not dice green chilli. We will remove these three spices from the soup before serving. Cinnamon gives a nice punch to the soup while anise gives a mild licorice flavor and the green chilli and crushed ginger render the soup slightly spicy.

Then, add onion and let it sweat. One by one add celery, diced pumpkin, mixed peppers and tomatoes in that order every minute or so. The secret ingredient is pumpkin. The sweetness of pumpkin adds an additional taste to this soup. Next, add the rinsed quinoa (rinse it twice at least), salt and water. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. By this time the vegetables and quinoa should be well cooked. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley. This is a great soup on a cold winter day!