This week’s recipe comes from Bonnie Haile, of Traverse City, by way of Deborah Madison’s cookbook, “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.” Haile makes the dish often for herself and friends, and says it’s her favorite soup. Besides being easy to keep on hand, the quinoa in the recipe provides texture and high protein content. The small amount of cumin gives the chowder a chicken broth flavor. Haile said that instead of adding the spinach to the soup, she divides it between individual bowls, then pours the soup over it to serve. She sets out small serving bowls of feta, cilantro and chopped egg for garnishes. “I love that kind of sharing,” she said.
Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions
3/4 c. quinoa, rinsed well in a fine sieve
2 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
1 t. ground cumin or to taste
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1/2 lb. boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 bunch scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced into rounds
3 c. finely sliced spinach leaves
1/4 lb. feta cheese, finely diced
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
Put the quinoa and 2 quarts water in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, dice the vegetables and cheese. Drain, saving the liquid. Measure the liquid and add water, if needed, to make 6 cups.
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile. Cook for about 30 seconds, giving it a quick stir. Add the cumin, 1 t. salt and the potatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let the garlic brown. Add the quinoa water and half the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the quinoa, spinach and remaining scallions and simmer for 3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Season the soup with pepper and garnish with the chopped egg.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Please send to the Record-Eagle Food section at 120 W. Front, Traverse City, MI 49685, email@example.com or fax to 946-8632.