Tag Archives: tortilla soup


Sweet and Spicy Mexican Quinoa Soup

IMG_4805Gretchen Dusseau, the brains and body behind System of Strength (SOS) — the gym/studio/lifestyle that has taken Columbus by storm in the past few years, brought me this soup the other week.  I was so pleasantly surprised by the combination of flavors.  I’m usually a little picky about sweetness in my soups but this one was subtle enough and paired nicely with the spiciness of the cayenne and cumin.  In true Gretchen form, I asked her for the recipe and she glady gave it to me and said she’s working on a name — Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup, Textured Tortilla Soup (this one gave me the giggles), or Sweet and Spicy Tortilla Soup.  I thought the “sweet and spicy” was the best description of this tasty concoction.  Although I changed the tortilla part because personally, I consider tortilla soup kind of thick, indulgent and topped with crunchy tortilla strips (the kind I used to get at Max and Erma’s in the 90s).  This soup is quite different.  The quinoa adds a nice nutty depth to the earthy sweet potatoes but still the soup feels light and clean.  Clean eaters — this is one for you!  All the deliciousness of a traditional tortilla soup but with a twist and without tortilla strips on top — unless you are cheating on the “System.”  And I don’t recommend that — Gretchen’s wrath can be debilitating.  Instead top it with plain greek yogurt and avocado for a guilt-free meal!

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3 Tbsp oil

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced

1 Tbsp garlic salt

1 Tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

48 oz chicken broth

1 can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 14 oz can corn, drained and rinsed (or equivalent of frozen corn)

2 cooked chicken breasts (previously grilled, boiled or use prepared rotisserie chicken)

a few large leaves of kale (center ribs removed), roughly chopped (optional)

toppings: plain greek yogurt, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese


IMG_4807In soup pot or dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp oil.  Add diced sweet potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, red peppers and jalapeño peppers and cook for another 2 minutes to soften.  Add garlic salt, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Mix into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, quinoa, corn and chicken (and kale if using).  Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer over medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked (about 10-15 minutes).  Serve immediately with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced avocado.