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!


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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.