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Quinoa soup with beef {Sopa de quinua con carne}

This quinoa soup with beef recipe is a comforting Ecuadorian soup made with onions, garlic, tomatos, cumin, achiote/annatto, beef, potatoes, peas, parsley and cilantro.

Quinoa and beef soup

En Español

Growing up, way before quinoa became cool, my mom would add quinoa to a variety of different soups she made. The quinoa adds consistency and makes the soup more filling, in addition to to the good for you part. As a kid I wasn’t a fan of plain cooked quinoa and having it in a soup helped give it more flavor, plus I loved the way the quinoa almost pops when you eat it. I though it made the soups a little bit playful and fun.

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Quinoa soup with beef

There are many options to make soups with quinoa, one of the more traditional Ecuadorian quinoa soups is made with potatoes, milk and cheese and has a very creamy consistency, similar to locro de papa potato soup.

Quinoa beef soup recipe

This recipe is a lesser known variation that is made with beef, potatoes and peas, and is similar to Ecuadorian soups made with other grains such as barley/oats/cracked corn. In this quinoa soup with beef you can either use previously cooked quinoa or add it uncooked, I prefer to add cooked quinoa (at the same time as the potatoes are added), but if you want to simplify you can add the uncooked quinoa about 30 minutes after the beef is simmering.

Quinoa soup with beef and avocado

The soup can be made with just plain beef (beef stew pieces/top round) or for extra flavor, you can also add some beef bones to the soup and remove them at the end. You can also easily customize this soup and add additional vegetables, and also make using pork or chicken. I like to serve this quinoa and beef soup with avocado (of course!), some cebollas encurtidas or lime marinated red onions, and aji hot sauce.

Quinoa soup with beef

Quinoa soup with beef

Easy quinoa soup with beef recipe made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, achiote/annatto, beef, potatoes, peas, parsley and cilantro. Served with avocado, pickled red onions, and hot sauce.
4.88 from 64 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Andean, Ecuadorian, Latin American, South American
Keyword: Beef, Potatoes, Quinoa, Quinoa soup with beef
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 -10


  • 2 tablespoons of butter or oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion from about ½ large white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or crushed
  • 2 tomatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground achiote or annatto or paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin adjust to taste
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 lb of beef cut in medium sized chunks
  • 1 lb of beef bones – optional
  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or ½ cup uncooked and washed quinoa
  • 4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed (about 1 ½ – 2 lbs)
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 scallions chopped – optional
  • Salt to taste


  • Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat in large soup pot.
  • Add the diced onions, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, achiote or paprika powder, cumin, white pepper, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the ingredients are softened, stirring often.
  • Add the pieces of beef, mix until well coated with the sauce, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the water and the beef bones (if using), increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook until the meat is tender, about 45-60 minutes. If using uncooked quinoa, add it after about 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, peas and cooked quinoa.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef bones from the soup.
  • Add the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro and chopped scallions, taste and add salt/pepper if needed.
  • Serve with avocado, pickled red onions, and aji or hot sauce.


This quinoa soup can also be made with pork or chicken instead of the beef. Additional vegetables can be added/replaced based on your preference.

Recipe for cooking quinoa

Easy recipe for quinoa and beef soup

Step by step preparation photos for beef and quinoa soup:

Diced onion, crushed garlic, cumin, achiote or annatto, and tomatoes for the soup's refrito
Pieces of beef and bones for the soup
Cook the onion, tomato, garlic, and seasonings until soft
Add the beef chunks and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the water and beef bones, bring to a boil and then reduce heat
Add the potaoes, peas and cooked quinoa
Cook until the potatoes and the meat are tender
Quinoa soup or sopa de quinoa
Quinoa soup with beef
Quinoa and beef soup recipe
Quinoa and beef soup with avocado
Serve the soup with diced avocado and pickled red onions
Quinoa, potato and beef soup with avocado and pickled red onions

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  1. Made this soup today and it was super delicious and so simple! I boiled the meat first by itself to skim off the impurities and leave a clear broth before adding the seasonings and then the yellow potatoes which are so great in soup! I served it with crumbled Feta and aji. Total hit, delicious!!! Thank you for this great recipe!

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