My mom would add quinoa to a variety of different soups, the quinoa adds consistency and makes the soup more filling, in addition to being very good for you. As a kid I loved the way the quinoa almost pops when you eat it, it made the soups a little bit playful. There are a quite a few different ways to make quinoa soup, the more traditional Ecuadorian quinoa soup is made with milk and cheese and has a very creamy consistency, this is a lesser known soup that is made with beef, potatoes and peas. In this meaty version the quinoa is cooked separately and added towards the end.
2 tbs butter
1 cup diced white onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp of ground achiote or annatto (or paprika)
1 tsp of ground cumin
½ tsp ground white pepper
1lb of beef, cut in medium sized chunks
10 cups of water
2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
2 cups cooked quinoa or quinua (with onion, garlic and broth)
4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tbs finely chopped parsley
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Avocado and aji to serve
- Melt the butter over medium heat in soup pot.
- Add the diced onions, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, achiote or paprika, cumin and white pepper, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the beef, mix until well coated with the sauce, cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the water, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, peas and cooked quinoa, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro and salt to taste.
- Serve with aji and avocado.