Prep: 1. Chop cauliflower into bite sized pieces. 2. Dice red bell pepper, carrot, and peeled potato 3. Mince garlic. Make: 1. In large heavy bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add red bell pepper and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, or until pepper softens. 2. Add potato, cauliflower, vegetable broth, milk, bay leaf, thyme and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until cauliflower and potato are softened. Turn heat to low. 3. Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and place in small pan with 2 cups of cold water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until quinoa is softened, 15-20 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside. 4. Ladle about 3 cups of broth and vegetables (make sure you don't get the bay leaf) into a blender and pulse until smooth. 5. Add puree back to pot. Remove bay leaf and season with more salt if desired. 6. Add quinoa and remaining tablespoon of butter and cook for another 5 minutes. 7. Serve immediately.
If you have an immersion blender you can leave the soup in the pot and just puree it a little right there. If you're using a blender make sure to vent the top a little (who knew that hot liquid in a blender tends to explode... not us obviously #wetesteveryrecie)