Quick Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
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Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork and pan in background.

I know you don’t have time to stand over the skillet adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you today!  Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

WHY QUINOA IS SO SPECIAL

Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it.  It’s a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber…

Which brings me to the health benefits of Quinoa.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  Combining quinoa with veggies, such as Asparagus here gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need just a couple basic cooking items. A small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

Also a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THE ASPARAGUS & QUINOA RISOTTO

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).

Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

What kind of quinoa should I buy?

For this recipe, I find that white quinoa works best.  Red quinoa is not as soft and may take longer to cook and give you a more coarse texture.  You can find quinoa in the grain section of just about any grocery store these days.  If you missed all of the benefits of Quinoa up above, be sure to scroll back up!

What other vegetable can go into this?

If you are not an asparagus fan, then you can add peas straight from the freezer.  You can also add in green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms.  For each of these veggies, just follow the same instructions for cooking as the asparagus.

COOK YOUR ASPARAGUS QUINOA RISOTTO 

In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.

Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto

To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.

Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the asparagus.

Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump.

Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Can you make this ahead and reheat it?

Yes, you can make this ahead and store it in the fridge.  When you reheat it, you may need to add a splash of broth to help loosen it up again.  You can also garnish with fresh parmesan to bring it back to life.  This is not an ideal dish for the freezer, however.  The quinoa can do ok in the freezer, but the asparagus may get mushy.  If you do want to make the quinoa ahead and freeze, add the asparagus fresh once you reheat it for best results in texture and flavor.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

This Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is quickie-version that's such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  It's yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, healthy dinner, quinoa, risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth (3 for cooking Quinoa, 1 for Risotto Sauce)
  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

  2. Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).
    Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

Cooking Steps

  1. In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
    Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  2. To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in the asparagus.
    Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump. Serve and enjoy!
    Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with spoon and bread dipped in side and parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table
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Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table

Want something other than chicken for dinner??  I did too and I also wanted something healthy and nourishing.  And so today I bring you my Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham!  This is a slightly sweet, mostly savory soup that’s filled with warm spices that will wake up all of your tastebuds!  It all starts with the fantastic sweet carrot that is blended into the most luxuriously creamy consistency.  Then turmeric is added for a gorgeous golden color and warm taste.  Ginger comes to the party with warm spice, garlic shows up with deep flavor, and ground thyme brings it all down to earth.  Finally, smoked ham is the guest of honor, bringing that smokey flavor and a meaty bite.  It’s an easy make-ahead-and-reheat lunch, dinner, or appetizer.  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

EAT MORE VEGGIES WITH SOUP!

Soup is such a great way to get your kids (or grownups) in your family to eat their veggies.  Here are some of the ways that soup can make this task easier.

You can add just about any flavors.  I have some many different flavors when it comes to soups.  Some have a Mexican theme, such as my Chicken Tortilla Soup with Kale or my Chicken Enchilada Soup.  Some have an Asian theme, such as my Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup.  And some are really just infused by the ingredients themselves, such as my Creamy Mushroom Soup and my Chilled Golden Corn Soup

You can mix and match veggies according to preferences.  A great example of this is my Chunky Chicken Veggie Soup or my Chicken Sausage & Tortellini Soup.  You can really swap any veggies you want into these soups.

Finally, you can blend up veggies that may not be favorites into a creamy form to completely transform them.  My girls and husband all hate peas.  I love them though!  So, I blended peas up with some mint and jalapeno for my Zesty Pea Soup.

What’s your favorite soup?  Tell me in the comments!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a large (5-6 quart) pot with lid that can go from the stove to the oven. My prized possession dutch oven was perfect for this! Or any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great.

You also need a blender for blending the carrots into a creamy texture.

And finally, mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CARROT GINGER SOUP RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

The great thing about this recipe is that the entire soup can be made ahead and tastes just as good reheated!  But, there are a few steps that you can do even before the soup.  You can dice the carrots, onion, and ham.  Then mince the garlic and ginger.  To save even more time, you can find pre-minced garlic and ginger at the store!  I love Christopher Ranch Minced Garlic and Minced Ginger for quick dinners!

Can I used frozen carrots?

I prefer fresh carrots in this recipe as they really are the sweetest and blend up so beautifully smooth.  However, you can certainly use frozen carrots.  Regardless if they are carrot chips, dices, or other small pieces, simply add them the same way that the instructions indicate for fresh.  You will not likely need the same cooking time, as the frozen carrots will soften faster than fresh raw.  After the soup comes up to a boil, you can test the carrots at around 5-7 minutes to see if they are soft.

What kind of Ham do I buy?

For the ham, you have a few options.  First, you want to look for smoked ham for this recipe.  The smoky flavor works so well in this soup.  You can go to the deli counter and ask for 1/2 inch thick cut slices or you can buy a small cooked ham roast and slice it yourself.  Finally, you can look for a large ham steak in the meat section.  

COOK YOUR CARROT GINGER SOUP

The first step is to sear the diced ham and then transfer it to a plate.

Diced ham cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
To the same pot, add another teaspoon of olive oil, then add the carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes stirring every so often, until slightly soft and onions are slightly translucent.

Diced carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
Add the broth to the veggies in the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes to steam until soft. Remove from heat and let start to cool.

Broth being poured into carrots and onions cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
When the carrot soup is cooled a bit, scoop out all of the carrots and onions with a slotted spoon or small strainer and add to a blender. Using a measuring cup, scoop out about 1-1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and add it to the blender with the carrots. (NOTE: leave some carrots and onions in the pot if you want texture and do not want to fully blend the entire soup.) Blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency, adding more of the cooking broth as needed until you get a thick smooth and creamy consistency. Pour the smooth carrot soup from the blender back into the pot and whisk into the remaining cooking liquid, so that it thins out.

Spoon transfering carrots from pot to blender for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Carrot soup blended in blender for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Add the cooked ham (leave 3 tablespoons for garnish) to the soup and bring the soup to a low simmer.
Plate the soup in a large bowl and garnish with Parsley, sour cream, and the remaining ham.

Adding diced ham to creamy carrots for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Can this soup be frozen?

Yes, you can portion out this soup and freeze it in freezer containers or freezer bags.  Thaw it in the fridge the night before you want to cook it.  It doesn’t’ have to be completely thawed, but enough to maneuver it out of the container and into a pot to warm on medium heat on the stove.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with spoon and bread dipped in side and parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

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Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham is a slightly sweet, mostly savory soup that's filled with warm spices that will wake up all of your tastebuds! Carrot that is blended into the most luxuriously creamy consistency.  Turmeric adds a gorgeous golden color, ginger brings warm spice, garlic gives more deep flavor, and ground thyme gives an earthy finish.  Finally, smoked ham brings smokey flavor and a meaty bite.  It's an easy make-ahead-and-reheat lunch, dinner, or appetizer.  

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrots, chicken soup, ginger, ham
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided into 2
  • 1 cup Smoked Ham finely diced
  • ½ cup Yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 3 cups Carrots diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth 32 ounces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnish Ideas

  • 1/2 cup Sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Cashews, Chopped

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Dice carrots and onion. Mince garlic, mince ginger.
  2. Dice Ham.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the diced ham. Spread it out into a single layer and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Stir and then transfer to a plate.
  2. To the same pot, add another teaspoon of olive oil, then add the carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes stirring every so often, until slightly soft and onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add the broth to the veggies in the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes to steam until soft. Remove from heat and let start to cool.
  4. When the carrot soup is cooled a bit, scoop out all of the carrots and onions with a slotted spoon or small strainer and add to a blender. Using a measuring cup, scoop out about 1-1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and add it to the blender with the carrots. (NOTE: leave some carrots and onions in the pot if you want texture and do not want to fully blend the entire soup.) Blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency, adding more of the cooking broth as needed until you get a thick smooth and creamy consistency. Pour the smooth carrot soup from the blender back into the pot and whisk into the remaining cooking liquid, so that it thins out.

  5. Add the cooked ham (leave 3 tablespoons for garnish) to the soup and bring the soup to a low simmer.
  6. Plate the soup in a large bowl and garnish with Parsley, sour cream, chopped cashews, and the remaining ham.