Tomorrow is the big day! It’s my first official day of being self-employed.
Holy crap. This is really happening. I can’t believe it.
Friday was my last day with my full-time job and tomorrow is the start of Alyssa, the full-time food blogger (you can read more about the decision here). The whole situation feels kind of unreal. Like it’s happening to someone else and I’m just watching from afar. I mean I’m actually doing it! I’m chasing after my dream and following my heart. I never thought I would be brave enough to make the leap, but here I am, writing to you as a business owner on a mission to bring you healthy and delectable quinoa recipes!
This healing holiday soup being a perfect example.
Sneaking quinoa into my meals is at the top of my most favorite cooking tricks list. It’s a great way to impart not only more flavor, but also nutrition – protein, vitamins and other nutrients that are hard to find in other foods. Plus, when you’re adding quinoa to things like soups (or smoothies), it helps create the most luxurious, smooth texture.
Being Italian, we tend to make more traditional Italian soups during the holidays – Italian Wedding Soup, calamari in a tomato broth, etc., but I have to admit, I think this ones takes the cake. Those soups are heavy, and fill you up before the meal is even served. Then you end up feeling overly stuffed, uncomfortable and all you want to do is lie down and embrace your food coma for all its worth. This soup on the other hand? It’s nothing of the sort.
It’s light and refreshing, but still warm and comforting all the the same time. It has a velvety texture, is sprinkled with warm holiday spices and can be garnished to fit perfectly with your holiday decorations.
But the best part? It really is a healing holiday soup! This soup will nourish your body and will be easy on your digestive system, giving your body just a little bit of a break from all the other indulgent food. The base is cauliflower which is a cruciferous vegetable and contains a boat load of vitamins, as well as detoxifying properties. Plus, it’s an anti-inflammatory food which is great for those of us who have sensitive systems. Basically, cauliflower is a super star in the veggie world when it comes to its health benefits. But aside from the cauliflower, this soup also uses leeks, which are also anti-inflammatory and support your liver, quinoa, which we know contains tons of great health benefits, and raw cashews which support cardiovascular health, provide your body with healthy fats and even have some antioxidants.
And it’s creamy. So, so creamy. But also vegan and gluten-free.
Trust me, you (and your loved ones) are going to love it! Bring on the healing holiday vibes 🙂
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 leeks
- 1 (15 oz) can organic white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth
- 2 cups water (+ more as needed)
- 1 cup cashews
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for cooking
- Pinch of nutmeg (option, but awesome)
- Remove stem from cauliflower and chop into small florets. Set aside.
- Chop green tops off leeks, then halve them lengthwise. Wash as leeks tend to be quite dirty. Return to cutting board and thinly slice into crescent shapes.
- Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. When hot, add leeks and saute until softened, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add cauliflower, beans and quinoa and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add broth and water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let soup simmer on stove for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have the time.
- When done, transfer half the soup to a high powered blender. Add ½ cup cashews and puree until smooth. If too thick, add a little bit of water until desired consistency has been reached. Repeat with other half of soup.
- Transfer all soup back to the pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle in nutmeg and stir to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy the healing vibes this soup will bring!