To be honest, I've dragged my heels on jumping on the quinoa band wagon. My health conscious sister's family mentions it as part of their usual fare. I've seen all the photos and recipes out in the cyber world that talk about what a super food it is - full of protein and fiber. I tried it a couple of times and just didn't think it tasted all that great. But then I saw Jennifer's roommate in California cooking up a batch, adding yummy things to it, and actually looking like she enjoyed eating it! I still had a bag of it in my pantry, so when I found a recipe for Quinoa Vegetable Stew in the cookbook, Soups, Stews, and Chilis by American Test Kitchen, I decided I'd give it another try. The recipe posted here is a modified version of theirs. I skipped putting in the potatoes they suggested, but I bought right in to garnishing it with cilantro, salty cheese, and avocado - practically anything would taste great with those on top of it! This soup is surprisingly good and satisfying. I have found that when the spices of cumin and coriander are combined, the flavors sing. As suggest in the cookbook, this is delicious with eggs poached on top of it or chicken added to it if more protein is desired.
Ingredients for four servings:
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, put through a press
3 (14.5 oz.) cans broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef)
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1 cup corn, frozen or from can
1 cup frozen peas
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes or 2 large fresh tomatos
1/4 cup queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
Small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
Wash, seed and dice the red pepper. Peel and dice the onion. Saute the pepper and onion in the olive oil over medium low heat until they are tender. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper, and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the broth and bring it up to a boil.
Next, add the quinoa and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Now add the corn, peas, and tomatoes. Bring the soup back up to a boil, turn the heat back down to medium, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Chop the cilantro, cube the avocado, and get the cheese crumbles ready. Sprinkle some of each atop each bowl of soup and enjoy!