recipe: mexican quinoa soup with chicken

Over Thanksgiving, I had the entire week off from work to spend time with family and recuperate. So of course, I got sick. On Monday (err, today), I started my new job and I already have a feeling that my coworkers are tired of hearing me sniffling. You can only drink so much hot tea and rinse your sinuses with saline so many times, so here's a marvelously tart and spicy soup to the rescue!

Mexican Quinoa Soup with Chicken
Serves 6-8

1 medium red onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 glug good olive oil
1 cup red quinoa
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen corn
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (optional)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne 
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, juiced

Saute chopped red onion, chopped carrot and minced garlic in olive oil until soft. Add quinoa and toast a few minutes more being careful not to burn. Add stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and frozen corn along with seasoning and simmer for 5 minutes. If using chicken, add whole breasts with corn and tomatoes and continue simmering on medium high heat for 20 - 30 minutes until opaque. When fully cooked, shred chicken breasts and return to soup. Add lime juice prior to serving. If the quinoa has soaked up too much broth for your liking, add additional stock as desired.

Serve with fresh parsley, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado -- whatever your heart desires. And I bet this would be fabulous with some green chiles for an extra kick! 

adapted from The Daily Muse Blog