This is my all-time favorite quinoa soup recipe.
It's loaded with both flavor and nutrition. If you tolerate dairy, go ahead and add some shredded cheese, but I prefer this particular quinoa soup without it.
Not only does it taste amazing, but it's loaded with nutrition and has extra health benefits. If you love it, please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers. Thanks!
Fiesta Quinoa Soup Recipe Benefits
This quinoa soup is:
- absolutely delicious
- a great make-ahead meal and it freezes well
Make extra for another meal later in the week — you're going to want it.
A quinoa soup recipe like this makes a giant pot of food. It's great to make for dinner one night and then you'll have leftovers for lunch for a day or two. Or, make it for a crowd (Super Bowl party, anyone?!)
With so much fun planned for the year ahead, it's even more important to eat nourishing foods that keep our energy high and immune systems strong. Life's too short to feel like crap, and the food you eat influences your mental and physical health more than just about anything on the planet.
Fiesta Quinoa Soup Ingredient Notes
You can't have quinoa soup without the quinoa! Quinoa is loaded with protein and fiber, making it a great addition to any meal plan.
I find it's best to prepare the quinoa separately then add to the soup to prevent the starch from taking over the soup liquid. When it's easy, I like to grab some already cooked quinoa on the hot bar at my grocery store. It's also easy to make at home; learn how to make perfectly fluffy quinoa here.
All types of quinoa (red, yellow, white, brown) have the same nutritional profile, so use what you can find at a good price. I like to shop in the bulk bins at the natural foods store when trying something new to buy the exact amount I need. I also like to buy quinoa at a great price on Thrive Market (get 25% off your first order here).
I added black beans and quinoa to make it extra hearty and full of protein, but any type of beans would be great here. Black beans are full of protein, antioxidants, and fiber, and double as a good carb. Or, leave out the beans if you prefer.
Veggie or Chicken Stock
Make this quinoa soup vegan by using veggie stock. Or, if you want to amp up the protein even more, you can use bone broth (store-bought or homemade) in place of the chicken stock.
Avocado and cilantro for the win!
This quinoa soup is loaded with veggies, and when you garnish it with cilantro and avocado it creates an amazing (and extra healthy) meal.
Avocado is full of antioxidants and healthy fats, while cilantro is known as a powerful chelator, which means it binds to heavy metals in your digestive system to help detox your body. Some have a genetic factor that makes cilantro taste like soap. If you don't like it, simply leave it out.
Without any dairy, gluten, or sugar to clog up your digestion, this soup will help detox your body and keep you feeling great.
I prefer this recipe with quinoa because it works for my body. Quinoa is technically a seed but cooks like a grain, and some people don't digest grains very well.
You can substitute the quinoa for 1 cup of cauliflower rice if you prefer. Just add an extra cup of liquid with the 1 cup of cauliflower rice directly the pot at the end and simmer 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower rice is cooked through.
More Quinoa Soup Recipes:
- Simple Homemade Chicken Quinoa Soup Recipe
- Healing Butternut Squash & Carrot Curry Soup
- Quinoa & Kale Minestrone
If you want even more ideas, browse more quinoa recipes here.Print
This is my all-time favorite quinoa soup recipe. It's loaded with both flavor and nutrition. If you tolerate dairy, go ahead and add some shredded cheese, but I prefer this particular quinoa soup without it. If you love it, please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers. Thanks!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, scrubbed or peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, seeded and finely sliced (omit for mild soup)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (or all-natural taco seasoning, whichever you have on hand)
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes (include the juice in the can)
- 1 25-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or use two 15-ounce cans)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 quart veggie or chicken stock (or bone broth for added protein)
- 2 cups filtered water (or more stock if you have it)
- 2 cups already cooked quinoa* (from about ⅔ cup dry quinoa)
- 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt, divided, more or less to taste
- 3-4 spins of freshly cracked black pepper
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- sliced avocado for garnish
Before you make the soup, prepare the quinoa per the instructions below if needed. I find it's best to prepare the quinoa separately then add to the soup to prevent the starch from taking over the soup liquid.
- Preheat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, then add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper with ½ teaspoon salt and a few turns of the black pepper grinder. Sauté until soft and the onion is translucent about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low (to prevent burning the spices) and add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder; cook 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant. Add the jalapeno or serrano if using and saute another minute.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes with their juices to deglaze the pan, using your wooden spoon to scrape up everything on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the drained and rinsed black beans, stock, water, 2 teaspoons sea salt, a few spins of freshly ground black pepper and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer. Add in the already cooked quinoa if it's already prepared. Simmer at least 20 minutes to let the flavors combine. Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.
- When you dish up, be sure to reach the bottom of the pot to scoop up all the good stuff. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a few slices of avocado. Store leftovers in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.
Pay attention to what's in your spices and other ingredients, only use ingredients without fillers and preservatives. Especially your chili powder or taco seasoning, look for simple ingredients without any added sugar. I get my chili powder from the Savory Spice Shop because they don't add fillers or preservatives and their spices are freshly ground and taste great.
TO PREPARE QUINOA: Makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup of dry quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear, about 45 seconds. Place the rinsed and drained quinoa in a 3- or 4-quart pot with 2 cups (less 2 tablespoons) of filtered water. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Turn on the stove and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, allowing the quinoa to absorb all of the water. This takes about 15 minutes. Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes as a reminder as the quinoa will burn to the pan if left too long. After 15 minutes, stir and allow to sit another minute or two until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water and the tail of the quinoa grain has sprouted.
Quinoa is technically a seed but cooks like a grain, and some people don't digest grains very well. You can substitute the quinoa for 1 cup of cauliflower rice if you prefer. Just add an extra cup of liquid with the 1 cup of cauliflower rice directly the pot at the end and simmer 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower rice is cooked through.
*Cooked quinoa keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days, so make extra for meals and salads later in the week. 1 cup of dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked.
Keywords: Quinoa Soup Recipe, Quinoa Recipe, Healthy Soup Recipe