Birthday SoupPosted: 03/10/2010
When I was small, some of my favorite children’s books were in the Little Bear series, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. One of my favorite Little Bear tales was “Birthday Soup.” It’s the sort of story that makes you feel good, head to toe.
You can read “Birthday Soup” here, if you’d like, but the book is surely worth buying if there are any little ones in your life!
We are home on holiday today, so I made Matt some birthday soup for lunch. It was delicious and fresh, perfect for spring, and made us feel good, head to toe.
The soup recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which is a fantastic book also worth buying if there are any hungry ones in your life!
Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions
Yield: Serves 4
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine sieve
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1/2 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 bunch scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced into rounds
3 cups finely sliced spinach leaves (stack the leaves and slice ‘em)
1/4 pound feta cheese, finely diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
Put the quinoa and 2 quarts water in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, dice the vegetables and cheese. 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 teaspoon 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 cilantro. Season the soup with pepper and garnish with the chopped egg.