South American Style Quinoa | Melissa Hemsley
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South American Style Quinoa

Soups and Bowl Food

South American Style Quinoa





This recipe is inspired by the flavours of sopa de quinoa which is a traditional South American quinoa stew. However, my version has more of a risotto consistency but if you’d prefer a soupier version, add another 300 – 500ml of stock or broth. Use any greens you have, I like to keep spinach in the freezer so that I’ve always got something green to hand. Top with avocado, if you like.


  1. In a large wide frying pan, head the ghee and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, oregano, celery and coriander stems for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add your vegetables; red pepper, squash and carrots and let them fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add quinoa, tomatoes and stock/broth. Turn up the heat to a medium simmer, place the lid on and cook for 12 – 15 minutes or until the quinoa and veg are just tender. At this point, adjust the liquid if you like, then stir through the chopped greens for a final few minutes to wilt.
  4. Stir through the lime juice and season to taste.  To serve,  drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and scatter with coriander leaves and extra chilli, if you like. I like to serve with a wedge of lime, too.


  • 1 ½ tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne or chilli powder- to your taste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano or thyme
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • Coriander stems, roughly chopped (from coriander, below)
  • 1 large red pepper, halved and diced
  • 400g of a mix of chopped squash and carrots, in 1 ½ cm cubes
  • 300g quinoa (rinsed well and drained, ideally soaked* for 8 hours)
  • 1 x 400ml tin chopped tomatoes or 300g fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 450ml quality bone broth or stock
  • 200g spinach or other greens, roughly chopped (you can also use frozen spinach)
  • 1 ½ tbsp lime juice (½ lime)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large handfuls of coriander leaves (stems used above), finely chopped
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, wedges

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