Delicious Quinoa and Sweet Potato Soup

Today we're welcoming my friend Sandra to our blog! Being an avid cook (and a great one at that), she's kindly agreed to share with us this AMAZING quinoa and sweet potato recipe!

**NOTE: The picture is one I took when I made the recipe last week - with broccoli addition (read on)**

I grew up in a traditional Lebanese household watching my mother cook. Almost every day after school I’d watch her wash, chop, season and stir meal after meal. She cooked a lot of Lebanese dishes from memory and seasoned our food based on taste. But she was curious and adventurous when it came to food, so it wasn’t uncommon for her to clip recipes out of magazines, newspapers or get recipes from friends that ended up on our kitchen table to eat.

I did not start to cook until I moved out of my parent’s home, which compared to most, was late in life. So it took a while for me to come into my own as a cook and realize I’d inherited my mom’s curiosity about food.
Teaching myself how to cook helped shape the way I approach making meals. I believe that if you can read you can cook; recipes are guides – don’t be afraid to experiment; I appreciate recipes that have a few basic ingredients that are easy to find and pack a lot of flavour; use spice instead of salt but if salt is a must, use it sparingly and try sea salt.

More recently, in an attempt to avoid gluten and not rely too heavily on rice- and corn-based products, I turned to quinoa as a side-dish substitute. Coincidently, my sister gave me a cookbook dedicated to quinoa-based dishes titled, Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

that's cheese on the bread, didn't
feel like grating it :P

I knew this super-grain was versatile but the cookbook really opened my eyes to the range of its possibilities. Quinoa will easily take on the flavour of a marinade or sauce, add texture or flavour depending on how it is used.

The recipe that I’m sharing is a soup that uses quinoa, sweet potato and coconut milk as its main ingredients. I’ve served this dish to friends and family with a broad range of eating habits and it has been a hit with all of them. It is simple to make and delicious, especially the day after it’s made and the flavours have a chance to fully blend.

I encourage readers to add their own twist once you feel you’ve mastered the original recipe. Maybe add roasted carrots, broccoli or cauliflower if you’re looking for more veggies. Bacon or a smoky sausage might add an interesting flavour and some extra protein.

Happy cooking!

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) water
  • 1/2 cup each (125 ml) diced onion and quinoa
  • 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp each (1 ml) cayenne pepper and chili powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain yogurt (optional as topping)
  1. Wash, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 2-3 inch pieces. Boil 5-6 minutes just until soft not mushy.
  2. Place water and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until the onion softens, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the quinoa and vegetable stock and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked.
  4. Add sweet potatoes to the saucepan. Puree the mixture either by hand blender or wait until cool and puree in 2 batches using a blender or food processor.
  5. Return to low heat and stir in the coconut milk. Reheat slowly on low, adding the cayenne and chili powder.
  6. Serve with yogurt (optional).
Thanks Sandra for the wonderful recipe! I actually added broccoli to mine and it was a success! :) Note that if you'd like to freeze this recipe, feel free to do so (it's just as good!!). Once you want to eat it, defrost it in the microwave (adding a dash of water) and then simmer it in a large pot until the soup is back to it's normal consistency.


- CK
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2 Response to Delicious Quinoa and Sweet Potato Soup

January 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Made it with barley, and it was delicious! We were able to add extra water (1 cup) to make more of it, both versions are good, depends on how thick you like it! definitely worth a try! Julz

January 25, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Barley is definitely a great option if you don't like quinoa (although I don't find you really taste it in this soup). Just keep in mind that while barley and quinoa contain approximately the same amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals, quinoa is superior in providing protein (almost twice as much). So it all depends on the amount of protein you intake in your day! :)
Glad you enjoyed the recipe julz!

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