the taste space

Greek Lemon and Quinoa Soup (Vegan Avgolemono)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by Janet M on June 13, 2012

In much the same way as there is an art to using up the last of your fresh produce before you head away for vacation, I think there is an art to keeping a kitchen well-stocked for your return from vacation. While I have a few go-to recipes from pantry staples alone, and freezer meals help, when I come home from vacation, I am usually craving something fresh. I want the greens.

While I hate asking for rides, at the airport, it is nice to be picked up by a familiar face. I still remember returning from Japan to friendly faces and in addition to a quick ride home, they also had a few things to get me through to my first grocery run. At that time in my pre-vegan days, it was eggs, bagels, fruit and some leftover soup. With an empty fridge, it was a glorious gesture.

While Rob and I are good at taking transit to the airport, this meant we didn’t have any room to stop for groceries with all our luggage on the subway. In any case, while we came home to an empty fridge, it wasn’t so empty after all.

Granted, we were only gone for two weeks, so we still had a few grapefruits and apples for my usual breakfast routine. Onions and carrots in the crisper keep well, too. Cabbage, too. Thankfully garlic lasts, as do other citrus like lemons and limes. When in season, winter squashes can be stored outside the fridge. Frozen staples also work well: spinach, vegetables and herbs. I also keep my cooked beans in the freezer.

I always tell myself I will stop coming back from vacations on Sundays, only to be back at work on Monday, but we never learn. Returning from vacation means I also need to find quick-cooking meals that I can make after work, amongst unpacking, laundry and all that jazz from the vacation wrap-up.

Scrap the brown rice. It can take a long time to cook. Instead, I bastardized Gena’s Greek Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) by substituting quinoa. It takes half the time to cook, making a quick and tasty soup. Bright and fresh from the lemon , creamy from the tahini with depth of flavour from the miso, dill and nutritional yeast. Considering traditional avgolemono is made with eggs, the quinoa bastardization seems quite tame.. and quite the fanciful adaptation from the original. Regardless, this is a filling and delicious soup. Enjoy!

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, and to Ricki’s Weekend Wellness.

Greek Lemon and Quinoa Soup (Vegan Avgolemono)
Adapted from Gena @ Choosing Raw

5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
2 small shallots, diced
1 cup carrots, diced (2 carrots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tbsp white miso
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 heaping tbsp dried dill, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the shallots, carrots along with a dash of salt and saute until the shallots are translucent, approximately 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

2. Add the vegetable broth and quinoa and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots and quinoa are cooked, around 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the miso, tahini and lemon juice until smooth. Once the soup is finished, add to the soup. Stir in nutritional yeast and dill.

Serves 4 (makes 6 cups).

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23 Responses

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  1. kitblu said, on June 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I have all the ingredients except maybe white miso. I may have to substitute red and enjoy the colour and stronger taste. Today is cool after days of hot weather – a great day to cook and eat soup!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      That sounds like a great plan. I love soups, even in the hot summer heat. The lemon here really makes this bright and nice year round. I will confess that I liked the leftovers chilled. :) Let me know how it turns out for you!

  2. Eileen said, on June 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Well, this is definitely making me regret not buying miso when I was at the store earlier. Sounds lovely!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 13, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      Definitely pick it up next time. Miso is one of my favourite ingredients and it keeps forever in the fridge! :)

  3. Joanne said, on June 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    I almost always choose quinoa over brown rice! love it. There is nothing I hate more than coming home to an empty fridge. I usually order Fresh Direct to deliver groceries to my apartment the morning after I return but that first night back can be brutal!

  4. [...] The Taste Space shared Greek Lemon and Quinoa Soup [...]

  5. [...] to highlight is this uber delicious tahini balsamic dressing that I spotted at Choosing Raw. I am loving all things tahini lately and balsamic remains one of my favourite vinegars, so I was eager to try [...]

  6. Vegetarian said, on August 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    What can I substitute for miso?

  7. Beverly said, on February 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    This is tasty and comforting. I love it for breakfast. Thank you!

  8. Steph said, on February 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    This soup was one of my favorite things to eat before I was vegan. I am so excited to be able to try a vegan version! Is there anything I can substitute for the tahini? Thanks!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 23, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      Cashew butter or another nut butter could work, too! Or make your own tahini by making a paste from toasted sesame seeds. Let me know how it goes. :)

  9. [...] Greek Lemon and Quinoa Soup (Vegan Avgolemono) [...]

  10. [...] delicious and easy. I have made many of her recipes (there are too many to count, ok plus these, too), and I have bookmarked many more to [...]

  11. Janee said, on June 24, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Just made this for dinner….yum! Thanks for sharing.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 25, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      Janee, glad to hear you loved it as much as me. Thank you for your review. I really like hearing when others try the recipes. :-)

  12. Becca J said, on June 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    SO great! The whole Family LOVED it! Thank You!

  13. […] Chickpea Salad with Carrots, Mustard-Miso Dressing, Raw Zucchini Alfredo, Raw Carrot Cupcakes, and Greek Lemon and Quinoa Avgolemono Soup and there are many others I have […]

  14. Jamie said, on September 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    My whole family LOVES this soup….which is great because I’m the only vegan in the family. I love making meals that we can all eat together. I use rice instead of quinoa to please everyone, but otherwise I follow the recipe. Thanks so much for constantly providing me with meals that I can enjoy with my family :)


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