Chickpea, tomato & quinoa soup with pesto toasts

This soup is perfect for vegetarians, as combining legumes with quinoa makes this a balanced meal.

This soup is perfect for vegetarians, as combining legumes (chickpeas) with a whole grain such as quinoa makes this a complete protein and therefore a balanced meal.

Chickpea, tomato & quinoa soup with pesto toasts

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large celery rib, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 long red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons concentrated tomato purée
1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup quinoa (see tips) , briefly rinsed
1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (See tips)

8 slices sourdough baguette or gluten-free bread
Good-quality basil pesto (See tips), to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion and celery, stirring, for 5–6 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, chile and spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

2. Add the chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes and broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Blend half the soup until smooth and return to the saucepan with the remaining soup. Place over medium heat, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and warm through.

4. Meanwhile, toast the slices of bread until golden and then spread each with a little basil pesto. Serve the soup with the pesto toasts.

Tips: You can use either white or red quinoa in this recipe.

If you want this soup to be gluten-free make sure you use gluten-free broth and pesto.

This soup freezes well (without the pesto toasts). Simply place the cooled soup in airtight containers and freeze.

Recipe courtesy of Supergrains, Chrissy Freer, Appetite by Random House, 2013.

Photo: Julie Renouf

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