Bryanna Clark Grogan

Bryanna Clark Grogan

Posted March 1, 2011

Published in Food, International

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Read More: Ecuador, peas, quinoa, soup, winter squash

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 Ecuadorean-style vegan quinoa soup with peas, potatoes and butternut squash

As you might have gathered, I'm experimenting with "veganized" South American food lately-- especially Peruvian (my dad's background) and Ecuadorian (my youngest grandson is part Ecuadorian).  I've also been experimenting with various ways to use quinoa, the "Mother Grain" of the Andes. (See this post for a hot quinoa beverage.)  One day, recently, I had some leftover cooked quinoa, and everything else in the house that I needed to try this common type of Andean soup.  It's an easy soup to put together, and open to many variations. I took the liberty of adding some colorful and delicious butternut squash to the soup, which  fed us heartily for several lunches!

You know, it's interesting that alot of Andean food is meat-based (and in Peru, chicken and seafood are used frequently), but in the time of the Incas, the diet was heavily vegetable and corn-based.  It is estimated that the Inca cultivated around seventy crop species.  According to, "The Inca diet was mainly vegetarian based and involved them eating vegetables such as potatoes as their staple diet. Although potatoes were the main source of food for the Incas other food such as quinoa, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, avocados, tomatoes and manioc were also heavily involved within the Inca peoples diet."

Ecuadorean-style vegan quinoa soup with potatoes, peas and butternut squash

Printable Version


Serves 10
"Veganized" from a recipe at which contains beef.

1 Tbs olive oil 

1 cup chopped onion  

4 cloves garlic, minced           

4 to 6 canned Italian tomatoes, chopped       

1 tsp ground achiote (annatto) OR paprika with a pinch of turmeric  

1 tsp of ground cumin

2 cups reconstituted textured soy protein chunks (1 generous cup dry, simmered for about 15 minutes in 2 cups flavorful broth)

     OR seitan chunks (homemade or commercial), OR commercial "beefy" strips, such as Gardein, President's Choice, Lightlife, Yves, etc.

10 cups vegetarian broth (you can use a "no-beef" broth, such as Better Than Bouillon No-Beef vegetarian base, OR a lighter broth with 1 Tbs Marmite added)

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed         

2 1/2 cups frozen peas

2 cups cooked quinoa (not too soft!) 

2 cups peeled and trimmed, winter squash in 1/2-inch cubes

OPTIONAL: 4 Tbs minced parsley (or 4 tsp. dried) 

2 Tbs minced cilantro (or 2 tsp. dried)           

 Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste


Hot sauce or South American ají (such as Ají Amarillo paste or Aji Rocoto paste or huacatay sauce)

OPTIONAL: Avocado chunks tossed with a bit of lime juice.


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, achiote or paprika, and cumin, and stir-cook cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the soy protein or seitan chunks, and stir-cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes, peas, cooked quinoa, and squash.  Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes and squash are tender. Add the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro and salt to taste.

Serve with hot sauce or aji and the optional avocado, if you wish.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 181.6 calories; 10% calories from fat; 2.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 548.1mg sodium; 873.8mg potassium; 32.9g carbohydrates; 5.4g fiber; 5.2g sugar; 27.5g net carbs; 10.7g protein; 3.0 points.


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