Meals don’t always have to be completely from scratch to be healthy and delicious. And sometimes there simply isn’t enough time in the day to spend 30+ minutes on dinner.
There are other options besides dining out or ordering takeout when time is not on your side. This is one of my favorite little meals to pull together, especially in the winter months.
I start with a simple store-bought soup and add on from there. Today I used organic tomato bisque. When these boxes [avoid BPA and that metallic can taste!] of soup are on sale I take advantage and stock up. The simple soups are often my favorite, ie: tomato, roasted red pepper, butternut squash, etc. [Brands I love: Imagine, Pacific, and Whole Foods 365.]
This is also a great clear out the fridge meal. You can stuff this with leftovers or veggies that are on their last leg. It’s perfect in so many ways.
Today I loaded up the tomato bisque with two large collard leaves, beans that were hanging out in the fridge, and leftover quinoa from last night’s dinner.
The collards added some green veggie goodness while the beans and quinoa add bulk and protein. The tomato bisque on its own is not too filling but with these simple additions you’ve just made a nutrient dense soup in no time at all.
Top it with a little crunch and maybe some green onions—also hanging out in my fridge—and dig in. Finish this meal off with a pile of pan bread that you can also use to scoop up the soup with or top with a savorynutbutter. Yes, I was just talking about pan bread yesterday. I can’t help it. The stuff is too easy + versatile!
Quick Dinner: Loaded Soup
gluten-free, vegan // yields 2 servings
*This is not so much a recipe but just a basic guideline to follow. Get creative with the add-ins!
- 16-18oz simple base soup
- 1-2 cups chopped hearty greens, or sliced into thin ribbons
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup beans of choice
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked grain
- pepitas, to top
- green onion, to top
Place soup in the pot with the greens over medium heat and bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook until the greens are wilted. About 5 minutes. Add in your beans and cooked grain and cook for another minute or so. Portion out, top as desired, and serve.
ingredient notes: For the base soup I like to use something simple such as, roasted red pepper, tomato, or butternut squash soup but there are others that will also work. For the greens I like to use something hearty like lacinato kale, collards, or chard. If you use baby spinach you might want to add more since it wilts down so much. I used a blend of 3 beans in this version but prefer garbanzo/chickpeas for their heartier texture. For the cooked grains quinoa, millet, and brown rice would all work well. I used leftover quinoa that I cooked the day before. Toppings could include anything from toasted almonds, to pepitas, to green onions, to a sprinkling of grated cheese, etc.
other add-in ideas: Cubed and cooked sweet potato or red/yukon, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, browned tofu, edamame, frozen corn or peas, zucchini, red pepper, black beans, spinach
Dinner in about 10 minutes and pretty close to from-scratch.