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I’m normally in the habit of having my largest meal of the day at lunch time and having something light for dinner. I don’t like to eat a heavy dinner, especially since in our home dinner time usually rolls around just a couple of hours before we head to bed, and I’d rather fuel my body in the middle of the day at a time that it would actually make good use of the energy. We eat big salads for dinner at least two times a week as a matter of routine, but with the colder weather I’ve been wanting something in the evening that is both light and warm. Soup.

This tomato based soup is light and tasty, with flavours of white wine, fennel, and thyme, and heartiness from the addition of quinoa. It requires minimal chopping, cooks up reasonably quickly, and doesn’t require a whole lot of attention. Other than the fennel, this soup is comprised mainly of ingredients that I tend to keep on hand. I’m not much of a white wine drinker in the cooler months, but I like to keep a bottle around for cooking, and in our home it makes frequent appearances in soups, risottos, and pasta sauces. Quinoa, canned diced tomatoes, onions, and garlic are ubiquitous ingredients I make a habit of keeping in my kitchen.

I made a batch of this soup a few weeks ago, and it was so good that I made a double batch the week after and froze most of it for Paul. Soup generally freezes and reheats really well, and is a great thing to stock your freezer with for busy times. I’m bummed that this soup (and my husband) is in Stockholm and I’m not. Go ahead, get your soup on.

Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup Recipe:


If you’re not a fan of the flavour of fennel, you can swap it out for celery. The flavour is subtle though, and I recommend giving it a try. This soup is hearty enough to enjoy on it’s own, but also great with a nice piece of crusty bread along side. Try finishing it with some fresh basil or parsley, and a grating of Parmesan cheese on top. You won’t regret it.


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 bulb of fennel, finely diced (about 2 cups)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tins of diced tomato with their liquid (about 4 cups total)

1/2 cup white wine

1 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried

8 cups vegetable broth or water

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and sautee for a few min, until translucent. Add the garlic, fennel,  and thyme and cook for about 5 min more, until the garlic has begun to turn brown, but not burnt. Pour in white wine, and cook for 3-5 min, until most of the liquid has cooked off. Add the canned diced tomato and their liquid, and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have started to break down, about 10 – 15 min. Add vegetable broth or water, and rinsed quinoa. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Simmer until the quinoa has cooked and the soup has thickened, 10 – 15 min. If the soup has thickened too much for your taste, you can add a little extra broth or water to thin it out. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan over the top, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Yum.


All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2010