Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using ‘golden implements’. During the European conquest of South America quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as “food for Indians”, and even actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies. I hope you enjoy this Kale Soup With Quinoa.
Kale Soup With Quinoa
1/2 Cup Green Lentils
1/2 Cup Quinoa (I like to use half-and-half)
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
4 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Small Bunch Kale
5 cups water (or make your own veggie soup stock and use it in place of water and bullion cube)
1 Vegetable Bullion Cube
3 Tbsp Tahini
2-3 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce (I used Bragg’s all purpose seasoning)
1 tsp Cumin, heaping
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
Wash and de-stem kale (I use kitchen scissors to cut along the sides of the stems)
[***Note: I used the stems too], tear the leaves into smallish pieces. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add quinoa and lentils. Sautee for a few minutes, add spices and kale. Mix well. Add water and bullion cube (or your own stock) and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Carefully blend the hot soup in a food processor or blender and return to pot. You can skip this step or blend only half of the soup if you want some texture, but I think it’s nicest smooth.
Add tahini and tamari to taste.
To garnish, mix 1-2 Tbs of tahini with a small amount of water until it becomes smooth and bright. Drizzle on top of the soup and serve.
More About Quinoa
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and followed in third place by maize. In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content (12%–18%) is very high. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete foodstuff. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered as a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned space flights (from Wikipedia)
How To Pronounce Quinuo:
This crop is known as “quinoa” in English and is pronounced with the stress on either the first or second syllable (keen-wa)
For Quinoa nutrition profile see Nutrition Data
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Recipe Photo Credit: Her View Photography
Recipe Idea Credit: Vegan Yum Yum