Quinoa Soup – Sopa de Quinua (Peru)

Chicken Soup with Quinoa 

sopa de quinoaMidtown Atlanta is home to a terrific bistro featuring the cuisines of South and Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Over the years, Tierra (Flavor of the Americas) Restaurant has received glowing reviews for serving the traditional dishes from these regions. Unfortunately, they have decided to close their doors on February 17, 2012 and will be missed.

During a recent dinner at Tierra, I savored their soup of the day: quinoa soup. The Inca’s knew what they were doing when they called quinoa ‘the mother of all grains.’ This traditional Peruvian dish can withstand the scrutiny of any chicken noodle soup. Who needs matzah balls when you can enjoy quinoa.

I’ve done my best to re-create Tierra’s Sopa de Quinua.  Hope you enjoy the healthy, hearty flavors.

 Quinoa Soup ala Tierra


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 – 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 zucchini, cut in bite sized cubes
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut in bite sized cubes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery 0r 1 can of corn kernels (drained)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • zest from one lemon (approx 2 teaspoons)
  • parsley or cilantro as garnish, optional


  1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat, saute the onions until tender and softened (but do not brown) about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, oregano and garlic.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the vegetables* and quinoa. Allow to simmer covered for 3o minutes; stirring occasionally.  Add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro if desired.

Mama Says Note*: I par cooked the cubed potatoes separately to avoid releasing starches into the soup.  Once par cooked, drain the potatoes and add to the soup during the final 10 minutes of simmering. I also used a drained can of corn kernels in place of the celery.

Recipe Inspiration: Tierra Restaurant, Atlanta GA and My Life in Peru blog

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