October 15th, 2010

Quinoa, White Bean And Kale Stew

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Serves 8

Active cooking time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 40 minutes

This is one of my winter staples, especially if I’m having a busy week, have no one to impress and don’t want to use a million dishes (big ups to the disherwasherless!) You get your beans, greens and grains all in one pot; in this case I use white beans, kale and quinoa. You also get about 8 servings out of it so you can either freeze it or keep it in the fridge for 4 days or so, having it for lunch or dinner or… stew for breakfast? Why not!

It’s really versatile so make up your own spice blend, use different beans and grains (although cooking time may vary for the grain) and, you know, just do whatever you want, this stew is your canvas. Prep the herb blend before proceeding with the recipe, that way you just dump everything in at the same time without much fuss.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups leeks, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced medium
1 large parsnip, peeled, diced medium
8 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, diced medium
1 cup dry quinoa
1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale (about a pound), rough stems removed, torn into bite sized pieces

Herb blend:
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (see crushing fennel tip)
1 teaspoon dried majoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Fresh black pepper, to taste

Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium high heat. Saute leeks and garlic in oil with salt for about 3 minutes, or however long it takes you to prep your carrot and parsnip. Add carrot and parsnip, along with the herb blend, turn heat up to high and saute for a few seconds.

Add vegetable broth, potatoes and quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes and quinoa are tender. Add kale and beans, and stir frequently until kale is wilted. Cover and simmer on low for 5 more minutes. Taste for salt

When you serve you may want to add a little lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar or hot sauce – whatever your thing is. Or you may not.

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