Peruvian-Inspired Quinoa and Vegetable Soup

Lately it seems like everyone is keen on quinoa (“keen-wah”) as a super-trendy superfood.

After all, it’s gluten-free and packs all eight essential amino acids as well as so many nutrients the ancient Incas called it “chisaya mama” (mother of all grains). Yep, South Americans were so ahead of the foodie fashion curve that our trendy pseudo-grain (actually a seed) even shares it’s name with Quinua, Peru. That little historical tidbit made us all the happier to have Peruvian native Elizabeth Tennies contribute her instructions for this beautiful, soothing, mother of all soups.

“I don’t have a recipe, since it’s been prepared by my mother for ever,” she says. “But I’ll try to explain what I did.”

Quinoa Soup with Organic Ingredients (GF/Vegan)

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
4-5 cups water
1 cup butternut squash
1 1/2 cup lima beans
2 chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
Safflower oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup onions
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1-2 fined chopped garlic cloves
sea salt to taste
Dry or fresh basil and thyme
a pinch of cumin powder
Olive oil and bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice

Boil water, add quinoa and salt, lower heat for 5 minutes, add butternut squash allowing enough heat to continue slow boiling. After about 8 minutes add lima beans and carrots, 5 minutes later add celery and turn off heat -to prevent overcook celery, and add basil and thyme.

Simultaneously, sauté on a separate pan with a small amount of safflower or coconut oil -onions, red bell pepper, adding garlic and cumin power when onions and peppers are almost done. Add to soup and let it rest for 30 minutes or so.

At serving time each person could add olive oil and lemon juice to their bowl according to taste. It is a Peruvian custom to add fresh squeezed lemon juice to soups. Enjoy!

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