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Sopa de Quinua con Chancho - Quinoa Soup with Pork

This is one of the oldest soups made in South America, dating back to the time of the Inca Empire. After the conquest, pork and seasonings were added to it. This is a superb soup, full of taste and nutrition. I get numerous requests for this recipe from people who have moved to the United States from Ecuador and are delighted to find that quinoa is becoming more readily available in this country.

The South American TableYield: 8 to 10 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground annatto or sweet paprika
1/2 cup chopped scallions (white part and 1 inch of the green)
1 cup finely chopped leeks (white part and 1 inch of the green), washed well
1 medium-size ripe but firm tomato (5 to 6 ounces), peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 pound lean pork from the leg or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into1/2-inch cubes
6 cups hot water
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or natural peanut butter pureed with 1 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas
8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in the annatto, then add the scallions, leeks, tomato, garlic paste, and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the pork cubes, and cook for a couple of minutes, tossing so they are well coated with the vegetable mixture. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the potatoes, quinoa, and peanut puree. Partially cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the peas, basil, and cayenne and cook for a couple of minutes to heat the peas through. Taste for salt and black pepper.

Serve hot, garnished with the parsley.

Source: The South American Table: The Flavor and Soul of Authentic Home Cooking from Patagonia to Rio De Janeiro, with 450 Recipes by Maria Baez Kijac

more recipes from this book:
- Bananas con Mousse de Duraznos - Bananas with Peach Mousse
- Chuletas de Ternera a la Criolla - Veal Shoulder Steak Creole Style

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