An ancient Incan grain, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein. Other nutty grains, such as pearl barley or farro, can be substituted for the quinoa.
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 1 leek, white portion only, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
- 1/3 cup quinoa, well rinsed
Make the roux
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and slowly add the flour, whisking out any lumps. Add the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Return the pan to medium heat and cook the roux, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the leek, carrot and celery. Slowly add the wine while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended and the roux has thickened, about 20 minutes.
Cook the mushrooms and quinoa
Meanwhile, in another saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. When the roux mixture is ready, add the broth and mushrooms and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the quinoa and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).