Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quinoa Lentil Swiss Chard Soup

When it comes to super foods, quinoa is most definitely a winner, at least  in my book.  Quinoa is full of nutrition, is a great source of protein and is so versatile that it works in a variety of recipes. So far I have  tried it in everything from dosas to khichdis , pulao and even payasam/ kheer. Recently for the first time I also tried quinoa in a soup for a weeknight dinner.  It worked out so well that I have already made this a couple more times already.

This soup is filling enough to be a one dish meal, just pair it with some crusty bread and you can have a complete meal. It can also easily double up as a curry and served over a bed of plain steamed rice or with some flat bread or phulkas / rotis.

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Ingredients and method to make Quinoa Lentil Swiss Chard soup
1/2 cup mung beans ( whole moong)
1/2 cup split red lentils ( masoor dhal)
2 packed cups red Swiss chard cut into small pieces
1/4 cup quinoa thoroughly rinsed and drained
1 red onion cut fine
2 medium tomatoes cut into small pieces
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( or to taste)
2 Tbsp oil ( I used coconut )
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp garam masala ( or to taste) 
to know how to make your own garam masala check out this post
1/4 tsp chili powder (optional, or to taste)
1/2 cup coconut milk

Place mung beans in a bowl,fill with water, swirl with hand and drain. Fill with fresh water and soak mung beans in sufficient water for at least 3 hours. 

 Similarly place split red lentil/masoor dhal in a bowl, fill with water, swirl with hand and drain. Fill with fresh water and soak for 15 to 30 mins. 

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water and drain. I usually place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water for about a minute or so.Prep all the other veggies. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add onion and sauté until it turns translucent. Add green chilies and ginger garlic paste and stir a few times. 

Add tomatoes and stir until it turns soft and mushy. Drain mung beans and add to the onion tomato mixture . Add a little water and allow it to cook until it softens a little.  After the mung softens just a little, add drained red lentils and quinoa. Add  Add 3 cups of water, salt to taste, garam masala and chili powder if using and simmer until the lentils and quinoa cook. Add swiss chard and simmer for a few more minutes, until the chard softens and cooks and the flavors of the soup mingle. 

Add coconut milk and mix well. Remove from heat and serve hot with bread of choice. 

This soup is versatile enough and can be served as either a curry with phulkas/ rotis/ Indian flat bread or as a dhal over a bed of plain steamed rice as well. 

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