Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Our family took a vacation of a lifetime - we went to Ecuador and the Galapagos.   Two nights we stayed at an amazing place in the Andes called Hacienda Zuleta  where they made their meals from their own organic garden.  One evening we were served a Quinoa Soup as a starter.  In their culture they serve a thin type of salsa at the table to add to the flavor of their dishes called  aji.  We found ourselves adding aji willy nilly and it made everything taste better.  You can add your own version of aji by adding your favorite spicy condiment.

This soup was inspired by our experience.  I added the red lentils for added texture and protein.  My soup most definitely can be tweaked many different ways depending on what veggies you have in your fridge.

2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 onion diced small
3-4 stalks celery diced small
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
2-3 medium tomatoes diced
4-5 cups water
1 bouillon cube (optional)
1 cup red lentils
1 cup quinoa
1 can coconut milk
1 cup fresh cilantro loosely packed (chop the leaves and the stems separately)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot sauce or salsa optional

In a large stock pot sauté the onion, celery, garlic and ginger with the olive oil for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the tomatoes and sauté for a couple minutes. 

Add the water, bouillon cube, red lentils and quinoa and chopped cilantro leaves .  Simmer covered for about 15 minutes.  Add the cilantro leaves and the coconut milk.  Season to your taste.  You may also want to add a little bit more water depending on how thick you like your soup.

We hiked and biked our way through the Andes.

Banana delivery

Our group on our most amazing adventure through Ecuador and the Galapapos.

1 comment:

cookingwithlysa said...

Oh how I would like to have this big bowl right now. Such a nice hearty recipe ! Yum!!