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Looking to Eat Healthier in the New Year? Try this Quinoa Soup

In honor of January Soup Month, this dish is chock-full of vegetables and good-for-you Quinoa, a healthy protein alternative.

 

One of my relatives made this soup for me over the Christmas break and it was absolutely delicious! She was looking for a hearty, hot soup that was filled with vegetables and other good-for-you foods and found it in her new Cook's Illustrated Soups and Stews cookbook.

This soup features Quinoa (pronounced keen-wha) which is a grain-like product.  It's loaded with protein, fiber, magnesium and calcium.

Yes this recipe has a long list of ingredients, but it can be made ahead of time and frozen (without the toppings).  You will not be disappointed. My only regret is I didn't take a photo of the garnished soup which was very pleasing to the eye (and palate).

Quinoa Soup

Serves 6-8

2 T vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 T paprika

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (using vegetable broth will make the dish vegetarian)

1 lb. red potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper

8 ounces queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled

1 ripe avocado, diced

½ cup minced fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and pepper and cook about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, paprika, coriander and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Stir in the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the quinoa and continue to simmer for about 8 minutes.  Stir in the corn and cook the mixture until the potatoes and quinoa are just tender, about another 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and peas and let them heat through, about 2 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top individual bowls filled with soup with the cheese, avocado and cilantro.

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