It's amazing to me how good a long-forgotten favorite recipe can taste, when it's pulled from the archives and lovingly cooked. I'm referring to my recipe for quinoa soup, which I first tasted in Ecuador many years ago. It's a very easy soup to make, and so flexible as to ingredients. Traditionally, it would be made with cabbage, plantain and thin rounds of sweet corn cut from the cob. In Ecuador I had it topped with avocado, green onions and ahi — a home-made hot sauce served on virtually everything. Here, we used cauliflower and organic frozen corn, along with potatoes, and pan-browned tempeh. In Ecuador you probably won't find tempeh in your quinoa soup, but it tastes great and adds protein. The soup comes together quickly and tastes far more complex than it is. It's one of my favorites. The soup is gluten-free.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (it's good if half of it is green onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (to your taste)
- 1 cup floury potatoes cut into small cubes (peeled at your discretion)
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (or cauliflower)
- several "baby" carrots from the ready-to-eat bag, sliced into strips (or one whole medium carrot, sliced)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 5 cups low-sodium stock or water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- half of a tempeh block sliced crosswise into thin strips and browned
- sliced ripe avocado for garnish
- chopped green onion for garnish
- hot sauce for adding at the table (this might not be optional!)
- 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, garnish as desired and eat.