Close Encounter of the Icy Kind ❦ Recuperative Cabbage, Tomato and Quinoa Soup


Things are going to be slow around Life Through the Kitchen Window for the next little while. Yesterday morning, while on the way to the corner store to pick up milk and a newspaper, I had a close encounter of the perilous kind with an icy sidewalk. The score? Icy sidewalk, 1; Musing Mar, broken wrist.

When the Culinary  Enthusiast brought me home from the hospital later in the afternoon, I was ravenous and wanted something nourishing and comforting to eat. Fortunately, I’ve stuck to the commitment I made to myself when I was recuperating from a nasty bug in January (here) to make sure I always have lots of homemade soup on hand. A big pot of this cabbage, tomato and quinoa soup was waiting in the refrigerator. Thick and hearty as a stew, pleasantly spicy and loaded with protein from the quinoa, this soup was just what I needed to satisfy  my hunger and begin on the road to healing.

I’m writing this post in between naps through a combination of verbal dictation and one-handed typing. Fortunately, I have a stockpile of dishes that I’ve made and photographed but haven’t written about yet. Once I’ve worked my way through those, the pickings may be a little slim as I’m not sure how long it will be before I can get back to cooking.

I’ll just be making the best of the situation and eating lots of soup. I hope you enjoy this one!


Cabbage, Tomato and Quinoa Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • Half a green cabbage, trimmed and thinly sliced (just under 2 pounds)
  • 2-1/2 cups tomato sauce (mine was made with onions, garlic and cherry bomb peppers, and frozen last fall)
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped (also from my freezer)
  • 2 cups lentil stock (from my freezer; you could also use vegetable stock)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Up to 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water (more if you prefer a thinner consistency)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the cabbage and spices, and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the tomato sauce and lentil stock. Stir well, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the water and quinoa, stir well and cook until the quinoa is done (its curly tails will unfurl) and the cabbage is tender but still toothsome. Add lemon juice to brighten and lift the flavours, and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

As you can see from the photos, this soup is quite thick and is like a vegetable stew. By all means, use more liquid if you prefer.


    • Thank you Emmy! I hope it feels better soon too! It was such a beautiful morning for a walk, but the treacherous ice was hidden under a layer of fresh snow. One of the perils of winter here. I’m glad I’ve made lots of soup ahead.

  1. I am so very, very sorry! Take good care of yourself. By the way, this may be the ideal time to check out Dragon, Naturally Speaking. It is a voice recognition program that when you speak into a microphone, it writes for you. I have a Dragon called Hamish. I am on the computer all day long and have been concerned that my arms and shoulders have started to ache. Anyway, it takes a little getting used to, but I am enjoying my Dragon.

    • Thank you Rebecca, I appreciate your concern. I’ve discovered an excellent voice recognition program that’s built right into my Apple laptop. It’s working very well for me. I’m glad to hear that you’re using something similar to deal with your arm and shoulder issues. I’ve been dealing with a serious repetitive strain injury in both wrists for several years now, and have learned the hard way how important it is to take steps to prevent this type of injury. Glad to hear you’re enjoying your Dragon!

  2. Sorry, Mar, to read about your wrist. I hope they’ve given you something to limit the discomfort, at least initially. Glad you have stock on hand and if this is any indication of what you’ll be preparing, you should be better in no time. This soup is chockfull of goodies to help your body re-build and repair. Now, get some rest!

    • I appreciate it your concern, John. Hopefully this won’t take too long to get over, but I’m guessing it’ll be at least six weeks. Lots of time to eat soup – a good choice seeing as I can’t use a knife. :-/!

  3. So terribly sorry to hear of your mishap…hope it’s no more than a few weeks before you’re good as new. You deserve some pampering now so enjoy it while it lasts.

  4. I worry about falling on ice all the time since I live in Colorado. I twisted my ankle about 5 years ago and it took a year to heal completely. I hope your wrist feels better. I have been living on cabbage, chicken and sesame oil soup this winter. Topped with Siracha. So delish. I will have to make your healthy soup.

    • This is the third time this has happened to me. Ice is not my friend. Be careful out there!

      I’m just reading your post about tangerines & MFK Fisher; your writing style is lovely. I have an MFKF book that I’ve been saving for when I have time to savour it. I guess that time has arrived; the silver lining of this particular cloud 🙂

  5. Mmmmmm! I can’t hardly wait to try this soup! Right up my alley! Sorry to hear about the wrist! Heal quickly my friend! Let’s get together soon…Susan

    • “NOOOOO!” is exactly what I was thinking on the way down. Have to say, I wasn’t a pretty sight, splayed out and blubbering on the sidewalk like that. Thank goodness one of my neighbors and the Culinary Enthusiast came to my rescue! Definitely I need some restorative food; I think some pastries and cheesecake are what you had in mind, right? 🙂

  6. Oh, Mar, how completely dreadful.. was it your writing hand? I surely hope not, that would be some sort of help. I’m glad to read you’ve got an extra pair of hands to type and cook for you.. you deserve the utmost pampering, I say! A bowl of this is surely a cure for the tummy and the spirits! xx

  7. Hope you recover quick. I work with a guy who had a similar experience – it seems councils are good at gritting roads but not so good at gritting pavements and sidewalks

    • I’ve been using chickpeas a lot in soups and wanted to try something different so hit upon the quinoa; I was pleased with how it turned out. Thanks for your good wishes! I’m on the mend.

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