Drizzle this soup with olive oil or stir in a tender green, such as arugula or baby spinach. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to serve a bowl alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, either.
Heat broiler with rack about 5 inches away from heat. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss onion, garlic, carrots and thyme with 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. Broil vegetables, tossing every 2 minutes, until golden brown in spots and tender when pierced (about 10 minutes). Transfer vegetables to a blender with 1 cup water; blend, cracking lid and covering with a towel to release steam, until smooth. Reserve vegetable purée.
In a large, heavy pot, heat remaining oil until hot. Carefully stir in tomato paste (it will spatter); cook, stirring, until the oil and paste are brick red, about 3 minutes. Stir in vegetable purée, scraping bottom and sides of pot with wooden spoon to release any caramelized tomato. Stir in bay leaves, both diced and crushed tomatoes, quinoa, and 4 cups (1 quart) water. Simmer soup, uncovered, until thickened and quinoa is cooked, about 30 minutes. Stir in agave and vinegar. Season soup with additional salt, agave, and vinegar to taste.
Adapted with permission from Soup Club © by Caroline Wright (2021)