Broccoli Cheese Soup (with Quinoa)

We'd been eating leftover chicken in various forms for what felt like days on end so I was happy to try a recipe from my new cookbook Quinoa 365 that boasted that its Broccoli Cheese Soup would become our "newest family favourite." And it really delivered. I haven't had a soup this good in a long time. Full of flavour and packed with superfood-goodness, even though none of us could even taste the quinoa once it had been pureed. Instead it just thickened the soup without the need for flour or any other thickener (besides maybe the cream).

Super-fast and simple to make in less than 30 minutes, in three basic steps:
  1. Saute the onions (I added some diced pancetta for added flavour)
  2. Add the broccoli, quinoa and chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Blend, add the cream (I substituted half milk instead) and cheese, and serve.
As Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten would say, "How easy is that?", even if it wasn't her recipe. I just wish I had doubled the recipe so we could have had leftovers for lunch the next day. Will write that in the margin of my cookbook so I'll remember next time. We had some crunchy baguette toasted with pesto and parmesan on the side.

Loved my then-nine-year-old daughter Maddie's phonetic interpretation of "quinoa" on my mason jars as she helped me to label them. I gave her a clue that it started with a "q" and this is what she came up with when I encouraged her to just sound it out. I'm never going to wash the jar in case the label comes off. It'll just become part of my kitchen's domestic archives. You should see the jar for "pistachios."

Broccoli Cheese Soup

from Quinoa 365

3 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup quinoa
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese

Separate the broccoli into smaller, bite-sized pieces and set aside. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, quinoa and chicken stock to the saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 18 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.

Puree the cooked mixture with a hand blender or cool slightly and puree in two batches in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the saucepan and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat the soup on low heat, being careful not to boil it. When the soup is hot, stir in the cheese until just melted and serve immediately.

Rest of the week

January 25 Penne tossed with Asparagus Tips and Chicken, in either pesto or sun-dried tomato sauce, depending on who was eating it

January 26 Broccoli Cheese Soup with Pesto-Parmesan Toasts, Blueberry Eton Mess

January 27 Paninis with bacon, lettuce, avocado and cheese


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  2. Ooh quinoa..sounds yummy. I recently had this for the first time and it's one of the few health foods I enjoy eating.

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