This “chowder” is extremely unique and multi-dimensional in flavor. The lightness of the quinoa, combined with potatoes makes it hearty, but light.
By Laura Davidson
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well (or substitute with white quinoa)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno chili, de-ribbed and seeded, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups baby spinach, finely sliced
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped (garnish)
- Measure and rinse quinoa in fine sieve (this removes the outer layer of quinoa, which is bitter and has a ‘soapy’ taste). Place rinsed quinoa and 2 quarts (8 cups) water in medium sized pot. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, begin to chop garlic, jalapeno, and potatoes.
- Once quinoa has simmered for 10 minutes, remove from heat and drain—saving the liquid that the quinoa has cooked in. The easiest way to do this is to place a fine sieve over a large soup pot. Once drained, pour water into the pot that cooked the quinoa. You can now use the large soup pot to start putting the rest of the chowder together.
- Place water and egg in small saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove egg from water, allow to come to room temperature, and peel.
- In large soup pot, heat up the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and jalapeno. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and the chopped potatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan and making sure garlic does not brown.
- Add the drained quinoa water, half of the chopped scallions, and simmer until the potatoes are tender—about 15-20 minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer for 5-10 minutes. The soup will continue to thicken and come together.
- Meanwhile, chop hard-boiled egg and set aside for soup garnish.
- Turn the soup off the heat and stir in crumbled feta cheese and cilantro. Season.
- Serve soup, garnish with chopped hard-boiled egg. Enjoy!
After deciding to take a leap of faith, Laura enrolled in culinary school to pursue her passion for all things food. On her blog, Blogging Over Thyme, she shares her experience as a culinary student, her favorite recipes, stories, and photography!