December 26, 2007
You can have delicious quinoa soup in about a half hour, more or less. It's one of my favorite fast dinners. Quinoa is really good for you and so easy to make.
I first had quinoa soup in Quito, Ecuador in someone's home. It was so delicious I had no idea it was so easy to make. I wanted to be able to make an authentic version of the soup back home so I brought back achiote (annato seeds) so I could make the red oil used in Ecuadorian cooking, and bottles of the hot sauce we put on just about everything we ate there. I still have the seeds somewhere and I think we used all the hot sauce. For a quick, easy and delicious soup, read on.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup chopped onion (it's good if half of it is green onion)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup floury potatoes cut into small cubes (peeled at your discretion)
1 cup shredded cabbage
several "baby" carrots from the ready-to-eat bag, sliced into strips
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
5 cups water
optional but good
sliced ripe avocado
2 inches of a tempeh block sliced crosswise into thin strips and browned
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
green onion for garnish
hot sauce for adding at the table
Rinse the quinoa well in a fine strainer under cold running water and set aside to drain. (The rinsing is important so it won't be bitter and bad-tasting) Sauté the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and tempeh (if using) in the oil until the onion is wilted and the tempeh brown. Add the quinoa, salt, potato, cabbage, carrot and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the frozen corn, stir it up, garnish as desired and eat.
note: In Ecuador we did have the avocado slices and I recommend it. The lemon juice gives it a nice tang and the green onion is a nice touch especially if you're not using the avocado. Also in Ecuador, we had rounds of corn on the cob (yes, ON the cob) in the soup. It had been cut crosswise into one inch rounds. We picked it out and ate the corn kernals off and I think there was a bowl on the table for the cob pieces. In the summer when fresh corn is available, I do this. But the rest of the year I reach for that handy bag of frozen corn that's always in my freezer. Also, you can substitute different veggies for the cabbage - you could use zucchini or kale or as you see in the photo, cauliflower. (Some recipes call for chopped tomatoes or you can add mushrooms if you want.) I like the cabbage best but didn't have any the day I made the soup.