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. 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.
Recipe for cooking quinoa
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. This recipes is a lesser known soup 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.
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.
Step by step preparation photos for beef and quinoa soup: