Toasted Quinoa Soup

Published February 8, 2016
Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 85 min Serves: 8

Instead of being just another side dish or salad, Quinoa is the star of this soup. By gently toasting the quinoa in the oven it enhances its nutty flavour and gives it an extra sturdiness to hold up in soup. Quinoa is definitely a superfood, with the United Nations declaring 2013 the International Year of Quinoa. It was a staple of the Inca Empire, where it was regarded as sacred and called “the mother of all grains.”

This hearty, soup will leave you so satisfied you won’t even notice that it’s completely vegan! A great recipe for a weekend; cook once and have a ready-made 4 SmartPoints® lunch for the whole week!


  • 250 ml (1 cup) uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked onion(s), diced
  • 4 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), sliced
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked carrot(s), small diced
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked bell pepper(s), small diced, red
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary, leaves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked potato(es), small diced, peeled
  • 1.8 L (7 cups) vegetable broth
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked zucchini, small diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, (or to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Spread quinoa in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until it completely changes color from beige to dark brown, about 30 minutes. Use a spatula to stir it every 10 minutes to toast it evenly and keep edges from burning; set quinoa aside.

  2. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and a pinch of salt; sweat (cook over low heat, stirring frequently) until all vegetables have softened, 10-12 minutes. Add rosemary and cumin; cook 12 minutes until spices bloom (become very aromatic). Add potato, toasted quinoa and vegetable broth; stir.

  3. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender, about 30 minutes. Add zucchini; cook 5 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice and red pepper flakes.