I like winter in limited amounts. I love the look of fluffy snow on fields, kids throwing snowballs and toboganing down a hill. I also love taking a nice walk in the snowy woods on a cold sunny day, as long as I’m dressed properly. But – and this is a big but, I will always choose summer over winter, sand over snow, shorts over snow pants. So these past couple of weeks have been challenging – this is not the fun, let’s play out in the snow winter. This is the deep freeze, hard as rock snow banks and dangerous walking conditions kind of winter. The coldest winter in 10 years – and I don’t like it!
To counteract the January winter blahs, I decided to make a colourful and vitamin rich soup. Roasted Red Pepper soup with some added bulk and protein from a delicious quinoa/avocado salsa. This meal is healthy, satisfying, warms you up and a adds a bit of colour to a dreary day. Doesn’t this pop of red make you happy?
Roasting the peppers is a little tedious, so next time I’d double the recipe to make the effort worth it. This soup warmed up really well, perfect to take with you to work. Now, off to scrape some more ice off my walkway.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 red bell peppers, roasted and quartered
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- coarse salt
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
- 1 firm, ripe avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add yellow onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender - 6-8 minutes. Add roasted peppers and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth, being careful not to fill jar more than halfway. Reheat after blending and season genereously with salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together quinoa, red onion, avocado and cilantro. Season with salt. To serve, divide soup among 4 bowls, top with quinoa salsa, and squeeze with lime.
Roast your peppers by putting them on the BBQ or direct flame of your gas stove. Keep turning until skins are charred. Let cool in a covered bowl and peel off charred skin.