African Peanut and Red Quinoa Soup

African Peanut and Red Quinoa Soup

This flavorful soup, a bit spicy and full of vibrant vegetables reminds me of spring.  Seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, chili flakes and cilantro, the ingredients form a beautiful medley of color and flavor. Typically when grain is added to soup the soup becomes thick and hearty.  Although quinoa is a seed and not a grain, I expected the same result.  How surprised I was to find the soup remain light and somewhat brothy, very adaptable to a spring menu.  The red quinoa holds it’s shape better than golden quinoa, and its red color compliments the dish. While this recipe is perfect for those on a vegan, and gluten and dairy free diets, it would please the most conventional eater.

Try it.  It’s simple and satisfying.  From Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.

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Plan ahead by cooking the quinoa a day or two before.  I washed 1 1/2 cups of red quinoa in a bowl by rinsing and draining with a strainer a few times.  Let drain in the strainer for 10 minutes.  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add rinsed quinoa.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, turn down the heat, cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and set aside, or refrigerate until use.

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Now you’re ready to roll…

African Peanut and Red Quinoa Soup  (serves 8)

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced

2 – 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

4 carrots, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise and cut in diagonal half moons

2 small red bell peppers, chopped

8 cups vegetable or chicken stock

6 – 7 tablespoons smooth, natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper chili flakes

2 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage

large handful fresh cilantro, chopped

3 to 4 cups cooked red quinoa

sea salt to taste

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Heat an 8 quart stockpot over a medium heat.  Add the oil, then add onions, saute for 5 to 10 minutes. until onions are soft.  Add the garlic and ginger; saute a minute more.

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Add carrots and red pepper and saute for another 3 – 5 minutes.

Add stock, peanut butter, and red chili flakes.  Cover, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in savoy cabbage, cilantro, and cooked quinoa.  Add salt to taste.

Simmer for a few more minutes, until cabbage has wilted and is tender. Serve each bowl with extra chili flakes and/or cilantro if desired.

So delicious!  Stay tuned for Simple Cauliflower Dill Pickles…

Amy

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