Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Veggie Week: Quinoa & Corn Chowder from Savvy Vegetarian

It didn't reach 90 degrees today, so I celebrated by making soup.

I'm a big fan of quinoa in general, but especially when cooking vegetarian, there aren't too many other foods that are as nutritionally dense or as versatile. And since I've often been told that it is great in soups, and there was a large bag of frozen corn in my apartment that needed to be used, I went in search of something that used both. Success! Though I didn't follow the recipe from Savvy Vegetarian to the letter (I substituted 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper for the jalapeno that I forgot to pick up), it was certainly the backbone of my attempt.

This didn't come out with quite the spice factor that I was expecting, despite the rich flavor from all the spices it involves (ginger, coriander, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, cayenne) but this is undoubtedly because of my jalapeno substitution. If you're looking for a milder soup, that's a good way to go. Still, the flavors were balanced and delicious, and a little cilantro on top brought it all together. Edit: My spice-meter isn't very sensitive, so judge the heat for yourself!
A sprinkling of cilantro makes all the difference
 I think what makes quinoa so yummy in soups in general - and this one in particular - is the texture it provides. It has the body and satisfying starchyness of rice but with the tiniest amount of "pop" when you bite through the case. This probably sounds weird if you've never tried quinoa before, but please don't let my word choice deter you. You can do just about anything with it, it's nearly impossible to mess up, and it is nutritious.

This would be so, so delicious using leftover grilled corn, or the frozen "roasted" variety.

Quote of the Day: A man of knowledge, like a rich soil, feeds/ If not a world of corn, a world of weeds. ~ Benjamin Franklin

EDIT: It's even better the next day!

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