Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Soup Pinspiration: Spicy Tomato & Quinoa Soup w/Grilled Cheese Croutons

spicy tomato quinoa soup grilled cheese croutons
It's time for another soup recipe in this Autumn Pinspired Soups series! In case you didn't read last week's post, here's a quick recap of it:

spicy tomato quinoa soup grilled cheese croutons
I love soup. I love Pinterest. I love having a Soup board on Pinterest. But so often I pin away without looking back at what actually caught my eye in the first place. So for the next month, I'm challenging myself to make some of the amazing looking soup recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. I'm aiming to try 1-2 recipes a week for the next month. What better time of year to make soup than now? Autumn time and soup making just go together.

Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, let's get started! The next recipe on my Pinterest board that inspired me is this Award Winning Quinoa Soup from Confessions of an ADD Housewife. I really enjoy her blog - she's got a great sense of humor and I can relate to many of the things she writes about. I only pinned this recipe a couple weeks ago, but it's been on my mind since I'm always trying to find ways to get more quinoa into our meals. In googling other similar soups, I decided to do a mash-up of several different recipes that I found online and adjust the ingredients to make it just how I and my family would like it, but I give props to the ADD Housewife for giving me the inspiration to try something new. Since my teenage son just made homemade bread (you read that right, and I didn't twist his arm or anything!), I made some grilled cheese croutons with it, because what goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese sandwiches? These little croutons are a fun take on the classic sandwich.

This soup is spicy, hearty, and healthy with quinoa and lots of veggies. I even threw some beans in there for good measure but you don't have to. It's gluten free and vegan too if you use vegetable stock and leave off the croutons. You could even make the croutons vegan by using soy cheese and gluten free by using gluten free bread like the yummy Udi's brand. Here's my version of this spicy tomato and quinoa soup:
spicy tomato quinoa soup grilled cheese croutons

Spicy Tomato & Quinoa Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Serves 6-8 I'm guessing from the pot full of soup

1 cup quinoa, soaked and rinsed (see first step below)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 - 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes (I pulse mine with an immersion blender right in the can since my family doesn't like big tomato chunks, but you can keep them all chunky if you like)
2 cans beans like Great Northern or kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional but delicious)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional but delicious)
salt and pepper to taste

For croutons:
6 slices bread, somewhat firm or day old (for gluten free, use GF bread like Udi's)
6 slices cheese or soy cheese
2 T. Olive oil

1. It's best to soak quinoa overnight to get rid of any bitterness and help with digestion (here's a good basic quinoa soaking tutorial), but if you didn't plan ahead for that, go ahead and soak it now in 4 cups of water with a T. of vinegar while you prepare the ingredients for this dish. Rinse quinoa well in a sieve right before adding it to the soup pot in step 3.

2. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add 1 T. olive oil. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic until softened. Add chili powders, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and cook for a minute. 

3. Add broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cilantro before serving.

4. To make grilled cheese croutons, cut off crusts then layer a couple slices of cheese between two slices of bread. Make 3 sandwiches and cut each sandwich into 6-9 cubes (alternatively you could cook the sandwiches whole and cut afterwards but I wanted to brown all sides of the crouton so I cut them ahead of time. A little more delicate when cooking but these little crunchy bites are worth it). In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and heat. Add cubes to olive oil and brown each side. Blot on paper towel. 


  1. This is just terrific! The recipe I adapted from called for cilantro but not everyone in my house likes it. I like the idea of beans. Maybe next time I'll add black beans or maybe even some zucchini or corn. :)

    1. Oh thank you Micki, and thanks so much for inspiring me to try your award winning soup! I think black beans would be great in this - I had the great northern in my pantry but black beans sound even better. And corn would be great too! So many possibilities. :)

  2. What a great looking soup! I love quinoa, and tomato and quinoa combination looks great on your gorgeous photos!

  3. OMG this looks and sounds wonderful, I've never had quinoa, maybe now's the time to try it, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.
    Come join my Facebook Page too

    1. Thank you Debs, I just sent an email back to you. Sharon

  4. Just saw this soup on WTFab blog hop - sounds fantastic. Must pin it.

  5. Pinned! Can't wait to try this :)

  6. This looks so yummy! Although I think I would eat about a ton of those grilled cheese croutons!

    Thanks so much for linking up and linking back last week at the Humble Brag! Hope to see you back tomorrow to link up more great projects and see if you were featured. Don't forget, we will be giving away more free ad space! :)

  7. Hi Sharon! This soup looks right up my alley, all healthy and yummy! What a great idea, to cook off your pinterest boards. I need to do that as I have pinned some pretty fabulous looking recipes as well.

    I have to say I LOVE your about me page. I can totally relate. I am all about living a life full of joy and bliss. I believe if we follow our passion, it will lead us to our dreams. Life is supposed to be joyful and we're supposed to follow the river of life downstream not upstream. Anyway, I love blogs such as yours that incorporate a bunch of everything!

    1. Thank you Jackie, I look forward to following your blog, really enjoying it so far! Thanks for the kind words. :) Sharon

  8. Wow, looks amazing. I've been playing around trying to come up with a good tomato soup recipe but I think I'll quite and try this one.
    We'd love to feature this as well in our "Empower Me Healthy" cookbook, with your permission of course.
    Would you mind sharing this at "Empower Me Healthy" link up party on Wed?
    And if you would like to be featured let me know how you want this recipe credited.
    Have a healthy and happy day!

  9. This looks so yummy! Would love if if you linked up on my blog hop Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  10. Delicious - what a great combination. I have the worst problem cooking quinoa so this is inspiring me to try it again.

  11. This is one of the most delicious looking soups I've ever seen! Love that it uses Quinoa! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza - Hope to see you there again next week with more deliciousness :)

  12. I have to agree with everyone else...the picture was so appetizing! I couldn't pass it up and was NOT disappointed in the least! I didn't even make the grilled cheese croutons (which also look delicious), but this soup was amazing and looked just as good. Thank-you for posting!


I love hearing from you! If your name is linked to an email address, I will respond via email but if it's not ("no-reply commenter"), I'll reply here on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!