Winter Squash & Apple Minestrone with Quinoa & Brown Rice


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1 medium onion, chopped 

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced 

1 celery stalk, diced 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

1 leek, halved, cleaned well, and sliced thin 

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced 

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced 

2-3 apples (I used McIntosh), diced (and peeled, if desired)

1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced 

30 oz. tomato juice 

2 ¾ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock 

1 (5 oz.) package of Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Quinoa & Brown Rice, Italian Mix 

2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced 

1 tablespoons Italian seasoning 

2 tablespoons garlic powder 

¼ cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish 

Salt and pepper to taste  



In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions, carrot, and celery. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and leeks and cook until the leeks are slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic along with another generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant, about 45 seconds. Toss in the diced apples and winter squash. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken or vegetable stock, and the package of quinoa and brown rice. Bring mixture to a boil before lowering to a simmer, covering, and cooking until the grains are cooked and the squash and apples are fork tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. 


If you the soup is becoming too thick, add in an even ratio of tomato juice and chicken broth, adjusting your seasoning with salt and pepper accordingly. When the soup is done, stir in the minced sage, dried Italian seasonings, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh sage or parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.