Soup Spark is Lit! Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

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The completed Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

Yikes! This is my first blog post since May! Somehow my passion for playing golf and training for my first half marathon ate up all my time over the last few months.  But heck, it’s never too late to start back at er! It is fall here now and somehow my soup spark has been lit again!

Every once in a while when I receive Costco’s bi-monthly magazine I flip through the pages just to read the recipes. For this September/October issue, I found this great looking soup recipe that had quinoa in it.  I have had a bag of quinoa for quiet sometime and been meaning to make a quinoa salad or something, but never looked into any recipes to date. I have not thought of using it in soup.  But soup it is today!

The Verdict of Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa?

The original soup recipe was good, but with some fine-tuning, I transformed it into a splendid soup for myself!  Somehow it seemed a tad bland so I added more pepper and freshly squeezed lime juice, which seemed to have lifted it up quite nice! Also goat yogurt is highly recommended or even give Greek yogurt a try – they both will give the soup a nice creamy taste! Just make sure you swirl it around in your soup before digging in!

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup of fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup goat yogurt

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Cut top of garlic bulb off, place on tin foil enough to cover the whole bulb, sprinkle olive oil, wrap and bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Cool then spoon out garlic.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat.  Cook onion for about 8 minutes, then add in mushrooms and cook for 7 more minutes until mushrooms are softened.
  3. Remove 2 cups of the mushroom/onion mixture and put aside till later.
  4. Add in stock, water, quinoa, roasted garlic, thyme, salt, pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for approx 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
  5. Puree soup with hand blender (or in blender and return back to pot).
  6. Stir in reserved mushroom/onion mixture. Cook gently until evenly heated through and stir in lime juice and spinach.
  7. Ladle into bowls
  8. Garnish with a dollop of goat yogurt and grated parmesan.

Original soup recipe from:  Costco Connection, September/October 2012 edition, reprinted from: Quinoa Revolution: Over 150 Healthy Great Tasting Recipes Under 500 Calories by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

What I changed from original soup recipe:

  • Used olive oil instead of vegetable oil
  • Doubled the mushrooms and used shitake as well as cremini
  • Used 5 cups of stock versus 4 cups
  • Added lime juice
  • Added goat yogurt
  • Used more pepper

Soup Mistress Rating for Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Soup with Quinoa:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup

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The completed vegetable wonton miso soup.

I really enjoy cooking with wonton wrappers and a huge fan of various wonton soups. I was on a hunt for something different from the regular shrimp or pork wonton soups. I  bumped into a Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings recipe on my Epicurious App and decided to make it.

Did you know? Miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also some studies suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More about Miso on Wikipedia here.

The Verdict of this soup? I first made the soup following the recipe exactly, but I found it quite bland. I decided to make it a second time and I adjusted some of the ingredients. Adding a tasty vegetable broth (instead of water), carrots, cremini mushrooms and some sesame oil made a big difference for my taste buds. I renamed it Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup and I would make it again with the adjustments. Also, I found this recipe not super great for left overs the next day because the sweet potato wontons get a little too soggy for my liking. If you are keeping left overs for next day, I would keep the wontons separate from the broth in another container.

Ingredients for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups bok choy, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne or shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooking Instructions for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick holes in potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet until soft, turning once, about 1 hour. (If using a large sweet potato like I did, leave more longer in the oven.)
  2. Cool potato, then peel and mash.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and shallot, stirring, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir garlic mixture, pepper flakes, salt and pepper into potatoes.
  5. Place bok choy, sprouts, mushroom, and carrots in a pot with 4 cups vegetable broth. Start to heat up soup.
  6. Lay out wonton wrappers on a cutting board. Drop a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture in the center of each. Spray with a fine mist of water and gather edges together and pinch to seal the pockets.
  7. Set wontons (dumplings) on top of vegetables in pot. Bring to a boil.
  8. Cook, covered, until wrappers are translucent, 3 to 6 minutes.
  9. Divide veggies and wontons among 4 bowls.
  10. Add 2 cups water to another pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add miso, stirring until it dissolves.
  11. Divide among bowls; top with scallions.

Original Recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Miso-Soup-with-Sweet-Potato-Dumplings-240809

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced canola oil with olive oil
  • added sesame oil
  • used less salt
  • used vegetable broth instead of water
  • added some shredded carrots – needed some contrast
  • added cremini mushrooms
  • omitted edamame

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5)