Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but it is not as it is not a member of the grass family. Quinoa is a chenopod like spinach. The difference is you eat the seed for quinoa and the leaf for spinach. Quinoa is a complete protein containing a balanced set of essential amino acids. Quinoa is gluten free, meaning this is another item on my foods I will never cook list.
This really was the best soup I have ever created. When my wife tasted it she said "this is like a gourmet soup". I think I should take as a compliment.
Mushroom and Quinoa Soup
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 pound Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Portabella), cut into bite size pieces
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
6 cups beef broth
2 tsp beef soup base (you can use 2 bouillon cubes but base has less salt)
1 cup quinoa
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. Add the mushrooms, onion, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms take on color and the onions are translucent. Add the broth and the soup base and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the quinoa and cook until it is soft. You can garnish with a little fresh thyme sprinkled over the soup.