Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup

Quinoa. Not many people know about it outside the health food circles, but it's a pretty cool little seed. I won't get into the specifics of what it's all about, but all you really need to know is that it's kind of like couscous. It's got a slightly stronger flavor, but the texture is nice - like tiny little seeds that burst in your mouth. Weird, I know, but surprisingly good and very, very good for you.

I liked it a lot in this soup as it wasn't the star by any means. It added a nice textural dimension to the soup that was quite pleasant but the beef and potato are center stage here.

The soup is also really easy to make and satisfies that cold weather "soup craving" many people get in the winter time. 

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup
(from here)

1 cup of dry quinoa
2 cups of beef broth
(This will yield about 4 cups cooked Quinoa. You only need a cup for the soup recipe)

2 tsp olive oil
6-7 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 packet Sazon Goya 
1/2 lb beef, cubed (I used chuck)
5 cups water
1 beef bullion cube
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cooked quinoa 
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (divided)
1-3 tsp salt (depending on your taste)
1/4 tsp pepper


Wash your quinoa first in a fine mesh strainer.

Put it in a pot.

Add the broth.

Bring to a boil, stirring nearly constantly as the quinoa sinks to the bottom.

Drop the heat to medium and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.

When it's done, grab your cup for the recipe and store the rest for some other dish or eating as is. It's actually not too bad on its own with a little salt added.


For the soup, I'd prep your ingredients ahead of time so that you can add them to the pot with ease.

When you're ready to go, add the olive oil to a soup pot over medium heat.

Toss in the scallions and garlic.

Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the 2 diced roma tomatoes, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp taco seasoning, Sazon Goya, and half of the cilantro.

Stir well and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.

Looks great.
Add the carrot, 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper and the beef stew meat. In hindsight I should have cut the beef into smaller cubes. 

Give it a stir and add 5 cups water and the beef bouillon cube. 

Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to a simmer and cook for 1.5 hours.

When your time is up, add the potatoes and quinoa.

Stir to combine and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and soft.

Serve with some fresh cilantro.

I found this soup very reminiscent of a standard potato heavy vegetable beef soup. Very homey and surprisingly rich tasting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The quinoa added a nice texture element and made the soup stand out in my mind.

My daughter loved the potatoes and beef, but I don't think she ate a whole spoonful of the quinoa. Oh well.



  1. can you sub pearl barley for the quinoa?

    1. I don't see why not! Flavor-wise it should taste pretty similar, though the initial cooking of the pearl barley is significantly longer than it is for the quinoa. Once it's cooked though, you should be able to swap it in just fine! Hope it turns out for you!


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