Cozy Up with Hearty Recipes

Put a new spin on a classic favourite Springtime can still bring cool temperatures. That’s why it’s still the perfect time to try recipes made with wholesome, nutritious, and hearty ingredients to warm the body and soul. It is the best time of year to make stews and soups, but if you are running out of ideas, you can always put a new spin on classic favourites.

This soup recipe by Renée Kohlman from the Sweet sugar bean food blog is a fun twist on the traditional mushroom and barley, with quinoa swapped in for the barley and added bacon for a little depth of flavour. Bursting with antioxidants and other important nutrients, not to mention being low in calories, mushrooms are great to use in the winter as they are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D. We have used sliced cremini mushrooms here but feel free to use whatever mushrooms you like.

A little splash of sherry does wonders in the taste department, while the protein in the quinoa plus the meatiness of the mushrooms makes the soup a hearty, satisfying meal perfect for winter weather. If you want to keep the soup vegetarian, it is still great without the bacon.

Hearty Mushroom and Quinoa Soup with Bacon
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Serves: six
2 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
200 g sliced cremini mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sherry
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chopped kale; tough centre stems removed
5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for a few minutes and then stir in mushrooms. Sauté for three minutes, then stir in garlic. Cook for another minute or two until the vegetables are tender and mushrooms have released their juices.
2. Stir in sherry and cook until vegetables have absorbed the liquid, about two minutes. Stir in broth, diced tomatoes, and quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until quinoa is cooked through.
3. Stir in kale, bacon, and soy sauce. Simmer until kale is softened, about five to seven minutes. If you find it too thick, thin with a bit more broth or water. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Find more delicious mushroom recipes at