Soup Series: Market Vegetable and Quinoa Soup with Celery Pesto

by Michael on November 8, 2011 · 13 comments

It finally caught up to us. It was bound to happen. The pace of the week vanishing into the weekend and the weekend disappearing. Each and every week. Like that. Gone. It seemed like it was just July. And we blinked. And missed it. Everything. No personal imprints on life and no time for it either. Or for us. It was bound to weaken. And it finally has.

The weekends have been congested. No time to breathe or sink into life or come up for air. Friday nights through Sunday have been filled up with X’s on our calendar. It looks like a countdown to something important, like a milestone or event. But it isn’t. It’s the recognition of another shoot complete, finished.

W and I have been anticipating the gaps. That one day a week where we can just escape. Become invisible. And it’s coming. Soon. But for now we press on. Until it consumes us. And releases us.

The ritual continued Saturday. The early morning echoes rang from the alarm clock. It was early. Cold and black. We peeled ourselves from bed and we got ready. We packed our gear, the car and grabbed a coffee for the road. And we left for our shoot. Vanished in the shadows of the early morning darkness.

It was a beautiful fall day. A slight chill but disarmingly warm away from the shade. We photographed this beautiful couple and their eight month old son. It was an engagement/family/baby shoot wrapped up in one. And after a couple of hours playing in a park hidden deep in the heart of Toronto, we were done. And gone.

We walked back through our door mid-afternoon. The pace and travel finally caught up with us. I was craving a big bowl of soup but, for the first time in a long overdue while, we craved a nap more. And so we did. But the nap quickly turned into sleep mode and before we knew it we were well into dinner hour. Bye bye soup. I knew the pace of our recent days would catch up to us. And it did.

All night Saturday I thought about the perfect lunch for Sunday. I knew we had a shoot but it was at our house so the lack of travel time meant more time at home. Together. We woke up refreshed and ready for the day. We prepped the shoot and I started on the soup. The slow, long simmer to let the flavours develop. And, while we shot, the soup taunted us.

For a break we came downstairs. I poured a couple bowls of this soup and a couple glassed of wine. And we got back to work. At our time, on our pace. Just the way we envisioned it when we started this months ago. Food and a shoot. Connected.

It finally caught up to us. The weekends have disappeared as of late. But not for long. We’re slowly taking them back. And with it comes the promise of more days stretched out, naps in the middle of the afternoon for no reason and bowls of soup. Big bowls of soup like this. With her. Because we can.

From my kitchen to yours,


Vegetable & Quinoa Soup


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (plus celery leaves)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre or 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 small tin, plum tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup, quinoa
  • sea salt & pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, celery, garlic, carrots and sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, quinoa and tomatoes with juice and bay leaves and increase heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover, cooking until the vegetables are tender and the quinoa has expanded, about 30 minutes.

Pour half of the soup into a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the pot. Season with salt & pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of celery pesto.
Celery Pesto


  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley,chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • salt & pepper


  1. Using a blender or food processor, combine the celery ribs & leaves, parsley, garlic, pistachios, olive oil and Parmesan. Process until smooth and season with salt & pepper.

Leave a Comment

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Isabelle @ Crumb November 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm
A Thought For Food November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm
The Feed November 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm
forque November 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm
marla November 9, 2011 at 9:01 am
Sippity Sup November 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm
Maria November 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm
Shaina November 10, 2011 at 10:55 am
Winnie November 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm
Erika November 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm
Katie November 15, 2011 at 9:26 am
Anna November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am
Stephanie Cocchiara February 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

Loved this soup….can’t wait for new recipes from you!


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