Sopa de Quinoa
One of our employees (for lack of better word) discovered this incredibly simple heirloom family recipe at a dairy and hacienda in northern Ecuador. Quinoa is a primary crop for the indigenous peoples of the region, and this rich, flavorful soup shines due to the quality of its dairy products: Cream and milk hours out of the dairy, freshly churned butter, just-harvested eggs from pastured chickens, and whatever cheese is on hand. In the absence of your own dairy cow, buy the best quality ingredients you can afford, or cage-free eggs from your farmers market. The result is a soup that nourishes both the soul and body, thanks to quinoa’s remarkable nutritional benefits (which include all the essential amino acids).
- 2 cups quinoa
- 6 cups water
- 2 scallions, white part only, sliced
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of milk
- yolks of two large eggs
- 1/2 cup of grated Zuleta Andino or other semi-aged cheese such as Emmentaler that melts well, and has a mild enough flavor
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Put water into a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, add quinoa, and cover the pot, stirring occasionally. Cook quinoa for approximately one- to one-and a half hours, or until the grains are soft.
While quinoa is cooking heat an eight-inch frying pan over medium heat, add butter, and when butter is melted, add onions and cook until transparent. When quinoa is ready, add onions and half of the milk to the quinoa and bring to a boil for five minutes, then reduce heat and let simmer.
While quinoa mixture is simmering, add egg yolks, the remaining milk, cream, and cheese in a blender, and process for one minute. Add this mixture to the soup right before serving, and stir it into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.