Zesty "Minestrone"

It's easy to stick to your resolution of eating healthy

If your tastebuds are dulled by all the rich holiday dinners and your body is craving something cleansing and light, then this minestrone recipe is perfect for you.

From Professional Home Economist Mairlyn Smith's best-selling cookbook, The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook, this recipe from Carolyn Frail provides a great way to get several servings of vegetables (carrot, tomatoes, spinach) in one bowl of mildly spicy soup. Your body is going to love you for this one.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, scrubbed well and coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 19-oz can kidney beans, well rinsed and drained
3 cups baby spinach leaves

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are golden, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and nutmeg and sauté for another minute.

Add the broth, water, tomatoes, quinoa and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.

To serve:

Remove from heat and stir in the spinach until the leaves are just wilted. Serve with store-bought crackers or make your own (see recipe page 49). Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition per serving

164 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 358 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 7 g sugars, 7 g protein, Excellent source of vitamin A.

13 cups