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Author Notes: I had Quinoa Soup a couple times when I was traveling through Ecuador last month, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Just as in France and, well, many countries, most of their stews and soups start with a slow saute of aromatics like onions. Potatoes are almost always added. Add a healthy green salad and a slice of whole grain bread and you've got a tasty, filling, healthy meal. It's easy to eliminate the chicken too, by using all vegetable broth and just eliminating chicken altogether at the end. No other changes need to be made. And then it's even cheaper! Making your own broth further reduces the cost. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Makes 6-7 cups soup
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts, roughly chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 large shallot, minced, about 1/3 cup
- 2 tablespoons serrano or poblano chili, minced
- 1 russet potato, small chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups vegetable broth, preferable homemade
- 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/3 cup quinoa grain, well rinsed
- 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish, grated
- 1 1/2 cups shredded roast chicken from 1 chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon dry sherry
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. I used a large Le Crueset wide-mouthed pot. Add the onion, leek, shallot, chili, potato, thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until onions are softening (about 15 minutes). Stir frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pot too much. The mixture should be very fragrant.
- Add the broth(s), lime juice and avocado and bring to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes and chilies are softened, about 10 - 15 minutes. Puree 2 cups of the mixture. I used a submersible blender and the cup that came with it, and it worked perfect! Pour the puree back into the soup.
- Add the quinoa grain and simmer for 20 minutes. The quinoa grain should be completely cooked and look like little question marks.
- Stir in the Pecorino cheese, shredded roast chicken and sherry and cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is warm. For this, I just bought a chicken that was already roasted at the store to save time, but you can roast a large chicken breast, shred it, and add it to the soup instead.
- Serve warm garnished with a little grated Pecorino cheese and a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with bread and a green salad to complete the meal.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner
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