This hearty vegetable soup is definitely suited to “main dish” status. Using summer vegetables and lots of spice, it won’t leave your body or your tastebuds wanting. There are too many veggies with too many health benefits to go into it at this point, so I’ll leave that for another time. However, it incorporates one of my “new ingredients” – harissa. Harissa is a North African spice, often available in a tube, comprised of chili peppers, garlic, tomatoes and a number of other spices. I used Le Cabanon brand and it was delicious! Start with the amount advised and add more to increase the spiciness. One more thing, this recipe makes a LOT of soup, so either invite your favorite five or so friends over or plan to freeze a good amount.
3 bell peppers (I used one green and two red), chopped
2 large carrots or 4 small ones, sliced to 1/4 inch
1 large red onion, chopped
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half widthwise
2 cans diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz each (I also added a fresh tomato because I had it lying around, but it’s not necessary)
3-4 teaspoons harissa from a tube
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
3-4 cups high-quality, low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Saute the bell peppers and carrots in a large pot with a tablespoon of olive oil about 8 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the garbanzo beans, tasting and adjusting spices when finished, and bring the mixture to a boil. After you’ve reached the boiling point, bring the heat back down to low-medium and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the beans right before serving and enjoy!