The recipe below has been inspired by different dishes that I combined in one bowl to minimize the number of dirty dishes. As a result, I’ve split it up into two separate parts that get combined later. The tomato soup works as a standalone soup, and the quinoa & squash also works on its own, but it’s an excellent combination, especially in the winter months.
Cream Of Tomato
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1. Blanche the tomatoes and remove skin and seeds.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. (Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender.)
3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, (tomato paste,) basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well.
4. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
5. Add the cream to the soup and process/blend until it’s smooth.
Quinoa & Squash
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, halved crosswise, and seeded
12 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
1/2 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium works best)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
0. (The butternut squash isn’t strictly necessary, but I like it because it adds a certain sweetness that offsets the tomatoes’ acidity. Omit it if you must.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Cut squash into 1/4-inch dice. In a bowl, toss squash dice, olive oil, and sage leaves. Place on sheets and bake until tender and just golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Keep oven on.)
1. Heat remaining a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. quinoa and stock; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 2 minutes.
3. Stir together quinoa, diced squash, chopped sage, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
4. (The quinoa is also excellent the next day if you do this following step: coat a glass pie plate with cooking spray. Press in quinoa mixture. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees. You can cut into pieces like a cake. Makes for an excellent lunch the next day.)
The Combination: Tomato & Quinoa Stew
1. Mix the soup and quinoa in equal parts and stir well. Add fresh basil, sage and finely grated Parmesan, each to taste.
2. Eat this mixture.