This recipe was inspired by the Garden Basil Pesto soup at Panera. Kevin and I got a gift card to Panera for Christmas last year from my Grandma Anna and we immediately put it to good use. I really enjoy that soup because it’s light and loaded with lots of veggies. I did not have a recipe for that soup so I created this one with the addition of a few ingredients that I did not detect in their recipe – quinoa and rainbow swiss chard. For those unfamiliar, quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah) is an ancient whole grain that’s high in protein and fiber. It’s similar in texture to couscous and super versatile. These days you can find quinoa hanging out in the most unlikely of places – smoothies, salads, stuffings…even soup!
P.S. Only 3 Weight Watchers Points for 1 1/2 cups of soup – what a deal!
- In a large stock pot, saute onion and garlic with olive oil on medium heat until fragrant and slightly browned.
- Add the peppers and zucchini and cook until slightly tender (about 5-7 minutes).
- Add the broccoli, cauliflower, green beans wax beans and diced tomatoes. Continue to cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes until vegetables become more tender.
- Now add vegetable stock and garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper (and any other spices and seasonings you’d like to add).
- Turn up heat to medium/high and allow soup to come to full boil.
- Add Swiss chard and quinoa. 7. Reduce heat and cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes until all ingredients and flavors have blended together and quinoa has cooked.