Peruvian Quinoa Soup is a delicious blend of vegetables with a simple broth base. If you would prefer a vegetarian version, skip the step of simmering the meat and add an extra cup or so of vegetables.
I have taken many a trip to the mountains of Lima. The mountains here are not hills, they are truly mountains. High up in elevation with different vegetation also seems to cause people to follow a different diet. There are many seeds, grains and vegetables consumed in the mountains which don’t find their way into stomachs of those in Lima very often.
Given that, the high elevation also causes an incredible amount of frio – cold. Cold that is nearly unbearable. For that reason, days often start with soup and end with soup. It provides an excellent way to warm up as well as fill up. This soup is something that was serve in many street-side ”Menus.” The Menu always offers an Entrada, Segundo & Refresco – an appetizer, main dish and beverage. In the mountains, this particular soup was served as the entrada.
I am not sure if this soup was first created due to the combination of vegetables available in the market that day. I have had this with a variety of vegetables in place of these, such as peas, cabbage and flavored with ginger. Should you want to use different vegetables or change the beef for chicken, please feel free. This is essentially an “outline” for creation.
As with any good soup, don’t forget to serve this with canchita and aji!
- 1 pound (453g) of stew beef
- 1 cube of beef bouillon
- 8 cups (2 liters) of water
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup julienne carrots
- 1 cup zapallo squash, cubed
- 1/2 cup fresh fava beans
- 1/2 cup leek, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup yellow-flesh potatoes, halved
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Combine beef, beef bouillon, and water in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beef is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the beef and cut in bite size pieces. Return the beef to the pot and add the quinoa. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the carrots, squash, fava beans, leek, and potatoes to the pot. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning with additional salt, if necessary and add the fresh herbs. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat.