Sopa de Quinua con Queso (Quinoa and Cheese Soup)

July 28, 2008 | Filed Under Cheese, Guest Bloggers, Quinoa, Soups/Chowders/Gumbos, South American Cuisine 

 Please help me welcome guest blogger, Layla of Laylita’s Recipes.  Thank you, Layla, for being here!



2008 © Laylita’s Recipes – All Rights Reserved


 This is my first time as a guest blogger and I’m very happy that it is for Paz, who has been one of the warmest and friendliest people I’ve met since I started my food blog. I wanted to make something that I would make for her if I lived nearby and could bring it over to help her recover, too bad Seattle is kind of far away from NY, so I made a quinoa and cheese soup that is both tasty and healthy. Soup is the answer to all problems, at least that’s the way it seemed when I was growing up in Ecuador: you’re not feeling too well? Eat your soup. You want to get bigger, taller, skinnier, smarter, etc? Eat your soup. You want dessert? Eat your soup. You want to go outside and play? Eat your soup. You would think I would have ended up hating soups, but I actually really enjoy a good bowl of soup, it’s one of those things that I crave when I’m feeling sick and wish my mom lived next door –instead of 4,500 miles away –so that she could make me some homemade soup.

The first step to making a good soup is the refrito, also known as sofrito, which is the base of the soup, it consists of heating oil or butter –or sometimes lard – and adding onions, garlic, tomatoes (peppers, celery and other vegetables can also be added depending on the soup) along with the spices and seasonings you will use for the soup, I almost always add ground cumin and achiote or annatto powder to my refrito, for this quinoa and cheese soup I also added some dry oregano and ground coriander seeds (which are seeds from the cilantro plant that have been dried).  This soup has quinoa – which is healthy and all of that good stuff, but what I like about quinoa is the texture, I love the way the little seeds pop in your mouth -, as well as potatoes, cheese and cilantro, which remind a lot of another delicious soup called locro de papas. Whenever I make a soup that has potatoes in it, I like to add the potatoes to the refrito and let them cook for just a few minutes so that they get just a little bit browned and then add the water or broth. I used queso fresco, which is fresh Mexican cheese that you can find in most supermarkets, but you can also use feta cheese instead, feta is a little bit more salty so adjust the salt according to your preference; and like many other Ecuadorian soups I serve this one with some diced avocado and hot sauce on the side.
Paz, thank you for this opportunity and I wish you a speedy recovery.


2008 © Laylita’s Recipes – All Rights Reserved


Sopa de Quinua con Queso (Quinoa and Cheese Soup)

Laylita’s Recipes

2 tbs olive oil
2 cups diced white onion, about 1 large onion
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped finely
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp achiote powder
1 tsp dry oregano
¼ tsp ground coriander
5-6 potatoes, peeled and cut in small chunks
1 cup uncooked quinoa, pre-washed
8 cups water or broth
1 cup milk
2 cups grated or crumbled queso fresco, can use feta cheese
4 tbs finely chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Sides – avocado and hot sauce
1.       Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onions, garlic, tomato, cumin, achiote, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper, mix well and cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
2.       Add the chopped potatoes, stir them well to coat them with onions and spices and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.       Add the water or broth, bring to a boil.
4.       Add the uncooked quinoa, reduce the temperature and simmer until the quinoa and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
5.       Add the milk and cheese, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
6.       Add the chopped cilantro or parsley, taste and add additional salt/pepper if needed.

7.       Serve warm with diced or sliced avocado and hot sauce.




2008 © Laylita’s Recipes – All Rights Reserved











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41 Responses to “Sopa de Quinua con Queso (Quinoa and Cheese Soup)”

  1. Layla! I wish you did live close by. I’d love a taste of this soup right now. I can’t wait to make it. I like the ingredients. I make a great sofrito, I learned how to make it some time ago. Reading about the soup and looking at the photos make me feel better already. Thank you!


  2. A fabulous soup. Loving the Quiona in it.

  3. oh this sounds so good. I love quinoa too and the spices/herbs you have used really make for a great tasting soup!

  4. Those are lovely pix, and a lovely article. I’ve not yet tasted quinoa and I’m in more of a hurry than ever.

  5. A delicious looking soup! Really appetizing!



  6. Whoa! Awesome looking soup. Perfect idea for the recovering Paz. And how is the patient? Update, please…mari

  7. Oh my, this sounds just delicious!

  8. Paz, You are welcome, I’m glad that the soup (even virtually) helped you feel better!

  9. Layla, thanks for sharing such a great recipe! Quinoa is one of the foods I’ve promised to use more often in my kitchen this year, so I’ll bookmark this recipe.

  10. I grew up disliking most soups. I have a better relationship with them now. I agree with the choice of quinoa: it is a nutritious and delicious grain.

  11. Laylita, lovely soup, great photos. Paz is indeed very special. A very caring person. On the quinoa, I also love how it is so distinctive in the recipes used. Great debut!

  12. This is a beautiful soup that I will make in the fall for my family. Beautiful photos too. I’m so glad I found Layla’s blog!

  13. what a wonderful creation! I love creative soups~!


    OMG.. this looks so YUMMY!!! I loved Quinoa since I was a child but never with cheese or avocados.. I can’t wait to try it, it looks AMAZINGly good…

  15. wow…that looks sooooooo yummy!

  16. Sounds amazingly delicious!

  17. Kathleen UNITED STATES

    Layla, what a beautiful soup! I enjoyed your humorous description of what soup meant to you in Ecuador.

    It reminded me that in my Polish grandmother’s house many years ago, soup was not a mere course in a meal but the whole entree. How well I remember homemade chicken soup loaded with fine egg noodles, soda crackers, and big chunks of chicken. Or beef and barley soup heavy with beef, barley, lima beans, carrots and potatoes. Polish Black Soup sweet with noodles and prunes. Thick pea soup rich with potatoes and big chunks of smoked ham. Taken with a slice of black bread, you could hardly lift yourself from the table after that meal! All of them were so good.

  18. Hi Courtney: This DOES sound fabulous, doesn’t it!

    Hi Meeta: I’m lovin’ the herbs and spices, too.

    Hi Sra: Me, too. Never had quinoa before and this is a good reason to start. 😉

    Hi Rosa: Very appetizing-looking and sounding.

    Hi Mari: I continue to feel better everyday, thankfully. With my cookies and now soup, I feel even more better. 😉

    Hi Kalyn: I echo your words — Delicious!

    Hi Layla: Thanks, again!

    Hi Lydia: I plan on using it a lot, too!

    Hi Simona: I never used to like soups, either, growing up. I only started to like them when I started cooking. I know I’m going to love this soup. 😉

    Hi Christine: Discovering Layla’s blog is a real find!

    Hi Lina: Welcome! This soup IS very creative. The reason I love it already.

    Hi Cindy: Welcome! Let us know how your soup turns out.

    Hi Melinda: Yummy! Yummy! 😉

    Hi Joy: Absolutely!

    Hi Elizabeth: It does, doesn’t it?

    Hi Kathleen: What wonderful memories of your grandmother’s soup. You make me wish I were sitting at her table. 😉

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

  19. :mrgreen: I am so excited to try this recipe!! YUM! It looks so good and I am so HUNGRY!

  20. Hi Monster: Let us know what you think of the soup when you try it. Yeah, it made me hungry, too.


  21. Hi Valentina: Thanks for those kind words (very kind words) about me. Layla’s soup is indeed enticing. I can’t wait to try it.


  22. I LOVE quinoa, the soup looks delicious!! I will add to my to try list for sure!! Yum!!

  23. Hi Ana: Welcome back from vacation! This sould is on my “try” list, for sure.


  24. I love ALL the flavours in this soup – have bookmarked it already :)

  25. Hi Jeanne: I love all the flavors in this soup, too. I can’t wait to try it!


  26. Paul CHILE

    I just made the soup, we’ve just eaten it, it was fabulous. Thanks so much!

  27. Hi Paul: That’s awesome! I’m glad you were able to try this soup and liked it. Thanks for letting us know.


  28. Thanks a lot for this recipe, I had been looking for a soup using quinoa but with a latin flavor,after reading the recipe I realized that I had all the ingredientes at home.

    Thanks again,


  29. Welcome Mely: Let us how the recipe turns out for you.



    I have been looking for a recipe just like this one!
    I made it for lunch ***** 5 stars


  31. Awesome, Maria! I’m glad the recipe worked out for you. Thanks for letting us know.


  32. Andrea UNITED STATES

    Hi Layla and Paz

    I am from Ecuador and I love quinua :) This is the first time I will try to cook this soup :)



  33. Hi Andrea:

    Welcome! Let us know how you like this soup when you try it.


  34. Andrea UNITED STATES

    Hi Paz,

    I made the soup and it was delicious!!!! My fiance and he loved it too. I loved the spices and the flavors! It is great!



  35. Hi Andrea: Yay! 😛 I’m really glad that you and your finace liked the soup. Glad it tasted delicious! Thanks for letting us know.

    I wish you a Happy New Year!


  36. Isabel

    Hi you all! I’m an ecuadorian living up noth in Canada. Even though I’m from Manta and my mother is a “everything-with-plantains” kind of cook, it was my mother in law who introduced me to quinua. She made a great soup with pork baby ribs and peanut; of course refrito, potatoes and avocados were taken for granted! Yummy, in this cold weather nothing’s better than one of those ecuadorian soups!


  37. Hi Isabel: Thanks for stopping by.


  38. Irene CANADA

    Hi, Laylita! I have spent 1 1/2 years visiting Vilcabamba, EC, on the internet – almost moved there! It’s not going to happen, but I can’t leave the Ecuadorian cooking alone!
    Please tell me if the quinoa soup freezes well. I want to make it ahead, to serve to my Colombian friend from whom I took some Spanish lessons.
    Thank you SO much for ALL your recipes!

    Irene from London, Canada

  39. Hi Irene: Thanks for leaving a comment here. I just wanted you to know that you can contact Laylita directly at her food blog —

    Best wishes,

  40. […] The recipe I found was by Laylita, a recipe blogger I quite admire. It was featured here, on the blog of Chef Paz. […]

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