Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup with Quinoa: Gluten Free

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup with Quinoa

I have been wanting to try to make a Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup for awhile now and finally got around to it.  This soup was pretty easy to throw together.  We are trying to eat less processed starchy foods, so instead of putting pasta or white rice in this soup, I opted for quinoa.  If you've not jumped on the quinoa band wagon yet, quinoa is ancient grain and, if I understand correctly, it's the only grain which is also a complete protein.  I made and am storing the soup and the quinoa separately.  I  have found that things like pasta and rice get weird if left in soup, so I am just adding a bit of quinoa to each portion of soup when I reheat it.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 can (14.5 ounce size) of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans (14.5 ounce size) reduced sodium, low fat or fat free beef broth
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (dried herbs)
cooked quinoa
grated mozzarella cheese or grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook and crumble ground beef until no pink remains. Drain off fat and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add in the peppers and onions, the Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt, and some black pepper, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the garlic and cook for one additional minute, stirring frequently. 

Add in the cooked ground beef, the tomatoes, and the beef broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover the pot with a lid and simmer to 10 to 15 minutes.  We like the veggies with a little crunch so we don't simmer the soup for very long. Taste for seasoning; add in salt, pepper, and a little granulated sugar, if needed.

For serving, spoon a little cooked quinoa (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) into each serving bowl. Top with a little grated mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese and ladle in hot soup.

Makes 5 servings.  I keep the quinoa and soup separate in the refrigerator and then just add in a little quinoa when I reheat each portion of soup.


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