Vegetable Minestrone with Quinoa



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 garlic cloves, pressed and allowed to sit for 10 minutes
1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped”
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 zucchini, cut into ¼-inch half-moons
1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
4 to 5 cups Quick Vegetable Stock or store-bought vegetable broth
1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
½ cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large soup pot over medium heat and sauté half the garlic and the leek until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and season with a large pinch of salt, some black pepper, and the red pepper flakes.

  2. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they soften slightly. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Raise the heat slightly and add the zucchini. Season the zucchini with salt, cook on each side until browned, and add to the bowl of mixed vegetables.

  3. Turn the heat to high and add the tomatoes; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the broth and bring up to a slow boil. Add the sautéed vegetables back to the pot along with the Swiss chard and the quinoa. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.

  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan and quickly sauté the remaining garlic with a pinch of red pepper flakes until aromatic. Add the garlic oil and basil to the minestrone.


  1. Weil, Andrew, and Ditte Isager. Fast Food, Good Food: More than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table. Little, Brown and Company, 2015.