Quinoa thickens and enriches this cream-free bisque. For the prettiest appearance, go with beige-colored quinoa and skip red or tricolored varieties. Don't be afraid to let the blender go for a couple of minutes; that's the path to supersmooth results. We call for precut butternut squash because it's a real time-saver, slashing up to 20 minutes of prep time; you'll find bags of the peeled, cubed squash in the produce section with the bags of broccoli florets and other prepared veggies.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa; cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Add water, salt, squash, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf.
Pour squash mixture into a blender; add 1/2 cup yogurt. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls; top with remaining yogurt and almonds. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.
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My husband and I loved this soup. The quinoa gives it a wonderful flavor profile as well as nutritional heft. I cubed my own squash which really takes no time at all. Next time I might roast the squash. Looking forward to the leftovers.
This soup was absolutely delicious! It was easy to make, healthy and very pretty. I followed the recipe as written (except my container of butternut squash cubes was only 20 oz) and blended each of the two batches for several minutes as suggested. The soup was very creamy. I took this to an invalid friend who was ecstatic at its wonderful taste, texture and gluten-free ingredients. We both highly recommend this soup.
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