Friday, June 18, 2010


Now this is a quinoa and corn recipe I definitely like! (As opposed to my previous attempt at one, which was just OK.) This was the first time I’d used quinoa in soup, and even though it’s really more of a stew, or even an extra-brothy version of a regular quinoa pilaf (especially in the leftovers, the quinoa absorbs a lot of the liquid), it’s getting me inspired about other ways to use my new favorite grain.

The recipe is from Lorna Sass’ Whole Grains for Busy People (which I’m tempted to check out the next time I’m at the library), via the Seattle Times, via Cheap Healthy Good. It’s extremely easy and quick, making it one of those rare summer-weeknight soups, and has a nice flavor reminiscent of tortilla soup. The avocado and lime are what really do it for me; in particular, something about the creamy texture of the avocado with the toothsome quinoa, the crisp corn, and the savory broth pleased me immensely. I was also impressed that the avocado retained its shape and greenness even after several days in the refrigerator followed by reheating in the microwave. I’ve got to admit that A wasn’t as enchanted, but he also doesn’t really like avocado much unless it’s in guacamole. But it’s a testimony to how much I liked this soup that I’m not too bothered by his lukewarm reaction: this is one of those recipes I’ll keep on making anyway, because he’ll tolerate it well enough at dinner and then leave all the leftovers for me.

Since I’m a lime fan, I altered the recipe slightly so that the lime juice is added to the soup at the end, instead of just using lime wedges as a garnish. I figured this would help prevent the avocado from browning in the leftovers, and it also tasted darn good. I also used lots of salsa and cilantro, and more than 1 cup of corn because I had two big ears of the fresh stuff. I might use a bit more broth next time, just to make it more soup-like. Otherwise, perfect!

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
⅓ cup chunky salsa, or to taste (I used more)
1 large ripe but firm avocado, diced
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste (I used more)
Juice of 1 lime, plus extra lime wedges for serving if desired

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook (still boiling) 15 minutes.

2. Add corn and salsa. Stir. When the soup comes back up to a simmer, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Add avocado and lime juice and stir gently. Add cilantro, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir again.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good

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