Gluten Free Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Soup with Quinoa Crisps Recipe
Bugs Bunny may just be a cartoon character, but I think most of us who grew up watching him or whose children watched him would say that he’s a pretty good advocate for healthy eating! Whether he and his creators knew it or not, that carrot-chomping bunny probably got more kids to eat their veggies. Personally, I’m a huge fan of carrots – they’re chock full of the good stuff like beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Here I offer you a delicious way to get your fix of carrots with this Gluten Free Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Soup with Quinoa Crisps recipe.
This recipe combines the savory flavor of roasted carrots, garlic, and ginger, with another ingredient that’s so healthy, it’s considered a superfood … quinoa (I used white quinoa from Hodgson Mill). Quinoa is packed with all sorts of antioxidants, and while carrots may be synonymous with healthy vision, quinoa actually does its part to protect your eyes, too. It contains vitamin B2, and a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to red, itchy eyes.
Carrot and ginger soup is as classic as Bugs Bunny himself, but this version is a modern twist with a whole other level of flavor!
- 1 (8-ounce) package Hodgson Mill white quinoa
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or dairy free alternative
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds carrots peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Olive oil
- 1 medium white or yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 4 cups gluten free vegetable stock
- 1 cup half-and-half, milk, heavy cream, or coconut milk
- Fresh parsley for garnish
Combine the quinoa with 1 teaspoon salt and 2½ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and let simmer gently for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, leave the cover on, and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Take ½ cup of the quinoa and place in a bowl with the Parmesan and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Place heaping tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, toss to coat, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread the rest of the quinoa onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, season with a little salt and a generous pinch of pepper, and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer. Place in the oven after the carrots have cooked for 30 minutes (leave the carrots in) and roast for 15 minutes.
While the carrots and quinoa are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stock pan or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for another minute. Add the vegetable stock, roasted carrots and quinoa, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Place in a clean pot, add the half-and-half, and heat gently over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Serve the soup with the quinoa crisps and garnish with parsley, if desired.
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