Costco had huge boxes of quinoa on end caps this weekend, and I was sorely tempted.  I lost my debit card last Monday(in my pants – d’oh!), but opted to cancel the card as I’ve been a victim of identity theft before and did not want to risk it again.  So, I found myself without a debit card, in line at Costco with a full cart and a bottle of 2004 Alexander Valley Silver Oak I’d been coveting since a recent trip to my sister-in-law’s house:).  Unable to remember a PIN for my other debit card, I had to leave everything there, go home and get my husband’s debit card, and then re-shop for everything I had.  This time, I picked up TWO bottles of Silver Oak and a whole box of Quinoa.

And I made soup with it while simultaneously cleaning out the pantry. 

And it was good. 


  • 1 leek, sliced down the middle and rinsed, sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • a healthy handfulof basil, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 can of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 can of diced roasted tomatoes
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of good quality wine
  • 12 oz. of good quality chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • shaved parmagianno regianno for garnish


In a heavy pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the leeks, carrots, and onion until they’re soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir rapidly for a minute.  Add the rosemary and thyme, along with the cayenne pepper.  Stir together until fragrant.  Deglaze with the wine.

Add the cannelini beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and simmer until the quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes.   Add the basil and peas at the last few moments and serve once warmed through.