I know, I know…soup in August?! It’s crazy. But with the chilly mornings and evenings we’ve been having lately in Minnesota, the weather is starting to feel more and more like early fall. Which is a-okay by me. While I love all four seasons (yes, even a Minnesota winter is growing on me!) I have a big soft spot for fall. Since the weather had me craving all things fall, I chose to embrace the chillier evenings by making soup.
I really love a thick and chunky potato soup and I particularly like a potato and leek soup. Adding a vegetable like leeks to soup, or any dish really, helps to keep the ingredient list short since they have such great flavor on their own. I also decided to add my own twist to potato leek soup and throw in some quinoa. I knew the quinoa would make it a much more filling soup along with adding some protein.
This soup is everything I was hoping it would be. The leeks and thyme give it great flavor, and the red chili flakes add a bit of heat which I really liked. If you want a more mild soup, I’d leave the chili flakes out. The quinoa definitely gives it the staying-power that I thought it would, which has made it a great lunch to bring to work.
While it might not be soup season in your neck of the woods yet (okay, it most likely isn’t), it is definitely near. It’s so close! Gone will be the days of fresh tomatoes and peaches, and instead they will be replaced by apples and pumpkins. So when the time comes and there’s a chill in the air, remember this soup…it will surely warm you up.
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed and sliced
- 2 Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- dash of marjoram
- 1/4 tsp dried red chili flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In small pot, combine quinoa with 1 cup of water over medium high heat.
- Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover.
- Cook 10-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Set aside.
- In large soup pot, add olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the leeks and saute 10 minutes, being careful not to brown.
- Add the potatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
- Let simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Once potatoes are tender, remove about half of the soup and puree in a blender. Alternately, you could use an immersion blender to puree half of the soup. You want the consistency to thicken, but still leave a few chunks of potatoes throughout.
- Return pureed soup to soup pot.
- Season with thyme, marjoram, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add cooked quinoa and stir to combine.