African Quinoa Soup

scoop in quinoaThis is great topped with some red onions and a big handful of sprouts!

2 tablespoons butter or oil

1 chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh jalapeno, minced*or 1 tablespoon canned diced green chilies, or more to taste* (optional)

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 diced celery stalks, with leaves

2 diced zucchini

1 sweet potato, diced

1 t ground cumin

1 t dried oregano

6 cups vegetable stock (or water)

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained (I like the red quinoa best, it makes it look pretty!)

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

a dash of cayenne pepper *optional

1/2 cup peanut butter, no honey or sugar (almond butter works equally as well if you’re dealing with peanut allergies)

Wear rubber gloves to prepare fresh jalapeno pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. When butter is hot and bubbly, add onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper/chiles, bell pepper, celery, zucchini, sweet potato, cumin and oregano. Saute 10 -15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened.

Add stock, quinoa, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until quinoa is cooked and vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add peanut butter, using a wooden spoon to blend in completely, and simmer another 20 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

I find that the quinoa really ends up cooking and unfurling in the peanut butter stage, and sometimes I will add more peanut butter for creamyness. When you refrigerate the leftovers and go to reheat, it will be VERY thick & pasty, and you’ll need to add some water to thin it out to your liking.