I know I said this soup was already my favorite of the season, but at the risk of sounding completely faithless, I have to argue that this quinoa stew is the new winner. It.Is.So.Good. (How’s that for profound? Man, I’m a regular philosopher today.) But really, being So.Good. is a pretty fabulous review for a stew that is so stinking healthy.
I was skeptical my husband and kids would go for this one but just like these little quinoa patties, my family surprised me by their exuberance over this meal. Not only did it fill the ten hollow legs I get to feed every night, but I didn’t even have to bribe them to try it. I think we are officially becoming one with quinoa, meaning my kids don’t glare at the little kernels convinced I’m feeding them hatched frog eggs. And they are already used to me slyly sneaking butternut squash into soup thanks to this recipe and this one, so overall, this meal went over quite well. Phew.
I tweaked the original recipe (that has lots of stellar reviews) to work with one pot instead of dirtying up other dishes, and the finished stew is absolutely lovely, both in taste and looks. Since I just moved to a climate that reportedly gets colder than 30 below in the winter (uh, is that healthy, by the way?), we are going to need some stick-to-your-bones meals and this will definitely be at the top of the list.
A Quick Personal Update: By the way, so many of you have asked about our move and housing situation so for those that care (and I don’t blame you if you don’t!) we are finally moving into a house TODAY! After being “homeless” for six weeks and after two houses have fallen through (spawning enough drama to fuel a reality TV show while at it), we are relieved to finally have a place to call home. The upside? It’s a house! It has a roof! And a front door! And we get to make our own beds! And I’ll have a full-size refrigerator once again (oh, hotel, we’ve appreciated you but I hope to be unacquainted with you for a long, long time). The downside? It’s small. Really small (think 1,200 square feet, give or take) and I have five children (four of which happen to be lively, vigorous young boys). But we will manage through the winter and come spring or summer, hopefully something with a bit more space will be available. Until then, here’s to family bonding all winter long (can we say 1,283 games of Uno or bust?)! As a sidenote, we will be sorting through all our junk after the mover’s deliver it this week and combined with the fact that we don’t have internet set up at the house, my response to comments and emails may be a bit spotty. Just know I love your guts and we’ll be settled in soon. Thanks for all of your support and patience!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- 1 can (14-oz) petite or regular diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chopped butternut squash (about 1 medium squash, peeled and seeded)
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- In a large 4 quart pot heat the olive oil until hot. Add the chopped onions, oregano, and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and boil until the chicken is cooked, 7-9 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, and quinoa. Simmer for 15 minutes until the squash is tender and quinoa is cooked. If desired, scoop out some of the squash, mash it and return it to the pot. Shred the cooked chicken and return to the pot. Add the salt and pepper, adding more salt to taste, if needed. Stir in the spinach. Cook 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Serve warm.