Packed Lunch #7: Harvest Quinoa Soup

When I make certain foods, I like to make them in bulk just so I have some to last me a few days. For example, steamed or roasted chicken. It’s always exciting to roast an entire bird. I don’t know why. It just makes me feel very accomplished and clever when a nicely browned bird comes out of the oven. Maybe that’s just me.

It’s the same with quinoa. I tend to make a large batch and keep the remainder in the oven for impromptu salads, soup.. or just as substitute for rice. But I think it’s not because I’m all that good at planning ahead. It’s more like over-estimating and over-excitement when pouring out my quinoa grains into the pan. 😀

Anyway, good for me. Cos then I had enough extras to make this soup! I was tinkering around online to find innovative ways to use up cooked quinoa (besides salads and such) and this recipe caught my eye. Mind you, it was one pretty soup and I had to try it.

So I woke up extra early that morning and gathered my loot, which included:

Chicken Drumstick, Onion, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Bay Leaves,  Spice Mix (Texan Sizzling Steak Mix) & Bok Choy

Chicken Quinoa Soup 1

Can you pretend you only saw one drumstick there? Please?

I was only going to serve myself so I kinda removed the second drumstick after snapping the above pic. Roasted the other drumstick for hubs to go with his rice. Yeah, he’s not as into quinoa as I am. Yet. Anyway, I learnt from experience that Japanese sweet potatoes brown the very second they are cut so I dunked them into cool tap water. Worked well!Chicken Quinoa Soup 2

First thing I did was to brown off that dry rubbed chicken. Let me say something brief about spice rubs. I have about 4 to 5 different kinds of spice rubs hanging in my drawer. This particular one has lots of spicy, smoky flavour. You can easily substitute with your favourite spice blend or make a blend of paprika, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Chicken Quinoa Soup 3

I let the chicken brown on all sides for about 2-3 minutes without oil. Once that’s done, the chicken is removed and the onion is sautéed in a little splosh of oil.Chicken Quinoa Soup 4

I like to get it soft and sweet before adding the tomatoes.Chicken Quinoa Soup 5

The chicken is tossed in with some bay leaves.Chicken Quinoa Soup 7

Engage dream sequence… with sweet potato and water.
Chicken Quinoa Soup 8

Once the potatoes have become braised and tender, cooked quinoa can go in to be reheated and absorb some of that sweet savoury broth.Chicken Quinoa Soup 9

And finally the bok choy that needs nothing more than wilting.Chicken Quinoa Soup 10

And the quinoa soup is ready for devouring!Chicken Quinoa Soup 11

I really enjoyed this. Very different from the regular rice porridge that we Chinese have. Chicken Quinoa Soup 12

Best thing is it’s really healthy and filling. Filled me right up until dinner time. Chicken Quinoa Soup 13

My little food jar is serving me very well. It stayed super hot even 4 hours later. Yumm-o!

xoxoxo, Jayne

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

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Harvest Quinoa Soup
adapted from Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
(serves 2)


1 Chicken Drumstick
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Sweet Potato, peeled & diced
1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 tbsp Texan Sizzling Steak Spice Blend (or whatever spice blend you prefer)
1 Bay Leaf (I used 2 small ones)
1 cup cooked quinoa (preferable day-old)
1 bunch Boy Choy, washed & leaves separated
1 cup Water

Salt & Pepper, to taste

  1. Rub the spice blend onto the chicken drumstick. Brown it in a saucepan on MEDIUM HIGH heat on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, sauté the onion and tomato in vegetable oil on MEDIUM heat until soft.
  3. Add in reserved chicken drumstick, bay leaves, water and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender but not falling apart.
  4. Pour in quinoa and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing soup to thicken and reduce slightly.
  5. In the final minute, scatter in boy choy leaves. Stir in until the leaves have just wilted and turned bright green.
  6. Serve! Enjoy the flavoursome and healthy soup with a slice of toast, if preferred.


  1. I haven’t made any dish with quinoa at home because my family are not into it. The soup with quinoa looks delicious! What a lovely lunch too!

    • Thanks Nami! My husband also hasn’t gotten onto the quinoa bandwagon yet. 😀 So it’s just me but it’s a nice change from rice and noodles.

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