We are in full-on summer mode at the Monastery. The kitchen windows are left open all night to invite the cool night air to enter. In the early morning they are closed and swamp coolers whirr as we attempt to preserve the coolness the evening brought. And we have folks! It’s time to welcome new and old faces for varying lengths of stay. Finding a dish set in the dining room is confirmation that you are an expected and welcome guest, and you will be fed!
We have a number of tomato plants in the garden that may bring us sweet ripe tomatoes for Gazpacho come late summer. Now, we are enjoying a new recipe: Quinoa Chowder. This soup is beautiful in its simplicity and yummy as well.
Quinoa Chowder with Potatoes, Spinach, Feta, and Scallions
-- adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- 1/2 lb sweet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 bunch scallions, including an inch of greens, thinly sliced into rounds
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 lb feta cheese, finely diced
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- Put the quinoa and 2 quarts of salted water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, saving the liquid. Measure the liquid and add water to make 6 cups if needed.
- 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 tsp 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 parsley. Season with salt and black pepper.