Whole-grain quinoa simmers in the soup and then gets blended into the mix—resulting in a thick, creamy, luscious texture. Don’t be afraid to let the blender go for a couple of minutes; that’s the path to super-smooth results. We call for precut-prepped 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-prepped veggies. For the prettiest appearance, go with beige-colored quinoa and skip red or tricolored varieties. Greek yogurt goes into the soup to brighten the taste, and another dollop goes on top as a finishing touch along with crunchy almonds.
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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