Long, long (I mean, like, embarrassingly long) before it hit the mainstream health scene in North America, quinoa enjoyed a storied history in Central and South American kitchens as an inexpensive, nourishing and environmentally friendly protein. One of quinoa’s many famous uses is in sopa de quinoa, a recipe that varies from region to region (and cook to cook), but is usually made with quinoa, potatoes, squash and any other vegetables that might be on hand.
Add 2 cups of chopped dark leafy greens—like kale or Swiss chard—to the pot in the last couple of minutes of cooking.
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ large white onion, diced
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ lb purple, red and/or yellow baby potatoes, cut into ½ in dice (about 2 cups)
½ cup quinoa
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ in dice (about 2 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
Sea salt, to taste
1 avocado, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Warm oil in heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and stir constantly while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
2. Stir in quinoa, oregano, thyme, turmeric and pepper, and then add butternut squash and broth. If your broth is an unsalted (or low-salt) variety, add a couple of pinches of salt; if your broth is already salted, wait until the end of cooking to season as needed. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Uncover pot and simmer mixture for 5 minutes longer, using a spoon to partially mash butternut squash to make a thicker, stew-like broth. Remove pot from heat, cover once more and let stand for 10 minutes to allow flavors to fully meld.
4. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt as needed, as well as a little water if you prefer a thinner stew. Serve garnished with chopped avocado and cilantro.