"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Vegetable Quinoa Soup #Food of the World

Vegetable Quinoa Soup- simplelivingeating.com

I had just come down from the cool Andes Mountains into the Amazon basin town of  Puerto Maldonado. It was so hot and humid you could cut the air with a machete. 

Thirsty and starving we found a garden cafe and ordered the Sangria looking drink that everyone else was having. About 2 hours later I was violently ill.
It seems that the drink, Chicha is made by chewing  corn and spitting it into vats... that most likely contained bacteria that my American body was not accustom too. It was decided that I should go to the big city (maybe Arequipa) for medical treatment.

For three mornings I was thrown on the back of a pick-up truck and driven to the airport just as the rain would start, and they would cancel the flight to the big city. It was the beginning of the rainy season. I knew that every morning would bring rain so I asked,

"Please, just let me die here."

Peruvian mother and daughter in traditional dress. simplelivingeating.com
Peruvian mother and daughter in traditional dress. 

After that request I was brought to a local family who gave me a tincture made from tree bark along with endless bowls of Vegetable Quinoa Soup. I was well within a week.

vegetable quinoa soup: simplelivingeating.com

Was it the tree bark, or the quinoa? Hard to know for sure. Quinoa is incredibly nutritious and has been a staple of the diets of Peruvians for eons.

woman in peru: simplelivingeating.com
Me in Peru in the 1980's. 

Here is my version of the simple soup that I ate.

vegetable quinoa soup: simplelivingeating.com

Vegetable Quinoa Soup

by Diane Balch


3 tablespoons of Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning mix
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 onion 
2 celery stalks 
2 large carrots 
1 small zucchini
2 32 ounce containers of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa


1) Grate by hand or with a food processor: onion, celery, carrots, and zucchini.

2) Heat oil on medium high in a large sauce pan and add the poultry seasoning.

3) Add the vegetables to the oil. Stir and let cook until they wilt. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Once vegetables have wilted and in quinoa. Stir for about one minute. Then add broth. 

5) Bring to a boil, stir and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Best if you can let it sit on warm burner with heat off for about 1 hour before serving.

Please add your Peruvian recipes to the linky below and visit my co-host to see what they are cooking in Peru today.

Next month on Oct 14th we will visit Belgium. Start checking out recipes from this countries diverse cuisine. 


  1. Hi Diane,
    What a fantastic adventure and a great story with wonderful memories. Your Vegetable Quinoa Soup looks delicious, where is the tree bark? You look adorable in that photo! Thanks for a great post!
    Miz Helen

    1. It was an adventure I spent 7weeks in the country hiking.

  2. What a horrible vacation Diane, but you do look adorable. :) So glad that you got better, and that soup sounds wonderful!

    1. I was sick from the second I ate food in Peru... never could adjust... but it was interesting.

  3. Wow, what a story! The soup sounds so warming.

    1. You didn't guess I had been to Peru when you picked the country? It was truly the experience of a lifetime.

  4. Great story !!
    We absolutely looooooooove quinoa and this is a wonderful soup
    I also bought red-quinoa today which I'd like to try

    1. Thanks Winnie, I'm glad I survived to tell it. I love red quinoa. it's great in salads.

    2. Your story was amazing glad you got though it to tell the tale and you looked amazing as you always do

    3. Thanks Stewart, It was a life changing experience. I realized I could endure a lot. Does that make me an honorary Brit?

  5. so nice that you were able to visit Peru, despite the chicha escapade. My Chica Morada version is more sanitary for sure :)

  6. Getting sick on vacation is probably the worst thing that can happen to a tourist.
    That quinoa soup looks hearty and delicious.

  7. Love, love, love that photo of you, Diane! Wow you were really an adventurer…hiking the Andes! I am so impressed! I am also impressed with your wonderful soup…I love quinoa and can’t wait to give it a try!
    I would love to join you with your next country. Could you send me an e-mail on how I would go about joining in. Thanks in advance.

    1. Thanks Kathy, it was truly an adventure of a life time. A bit harrowing at times but a great experience. All you have to do is sign up on the mailing list on the post. I will send a two week reminder. We are cooking something from Belgium next month on Oct 14th. It is always the send Tuesday of the month. Glad you will be joining us.

  8. Howdy Diane ! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Bet that is something you'll never forget in your whole life. So adventurous ! And this soup sounds like a life saving food. >o< Kudos !
    Happy weekend.
    Blessings, Kristy

  9. Vegetables (and fruit) is where it's at! Great looking hearty soup! Pinned. (Found you on "Let's Get Real" linky and have shared a post from my blog above on your linky.)

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  11. Hi, the soup looks yummy, I love quinoa, can't wait to try. I mistakenly added my Dutch Pancake recipe to the link party, but wasn't able to delete it, sorry about that!

  12. Wow, that sounds like quite an experience, Diane! I'm glad you made it back safe! The Vegetable Quinoa Soup does sound very restorative and delicious too. Thank you for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  13. This looks so amazing! Yum! Pinned. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. We love partying with you! http://loulougirls.blogspot.com/
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  14. Can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!


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