Meatless Monday: An Unusual, but Magical Combination

This entry was posted on Mar 28, 2016 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless mondayWhen I first saw this recipe in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure how this unusual combination of flavors would come together. But once I made it, I knew it would be a regular in my recipe canon.

I first made this soup probably seven or eight years ago, and I’ve made it many times since then. It’s my partner, Phillip’s, all-time favorite soup. It’s one of the few recipes I haven’t altered in some way. It’s perfectly balanced just as it’s written.

I’ve used white, red and black quinoa in this recipe. Using black quinoa made the soup look a bit muddy. It still tasted good, but just didn’t look as appetizing. But either red or white quinoa can make a soup that’s both tasty and beautiful.

Because of the eggs and feta, this soup is not vegan, but it is gluten free.

Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta and Scallions

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1/2 pound potatoes, cut in 1/4-inch cubes (I use yellow potatoes)
  • 1 bunch scallions including 1 inch of the greens, thinly sliced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese (I use goat feta)
  • hard-boiled eggs for garnish (1/2 egg for each serving)

Bring 8 cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Sauté the garlic and jalapeño in the oil for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, salt and potatoes and cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes more. Take care not to let the garlic brown.

Add the quinoa cooking water and half of the scallions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Stir in the quinoa, spinach and the rest of the scallions. Cook 3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the cilantro and feta cheese.

Add half a chopped, hard-boiled egg to each bowl before serving.

Like most soups, this soup tastes even better after the flavors have integrated. In other words, enjoy the leftovers too!


About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

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