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amaranth, quinoa, and corn chowder
Ingredients indigenous to the New World, such as amaranth, quinoa, and corn, taste good together.
In this soup, the amaranth and quinoa add substance and a subtle flavor that complements the more familiar taste of sweet corn.
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
• 1 cup finely diced celery (remove “strings” by peeling celery before dicing)
• 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt; plus more to taste
• 1/4 cup amaranth
• 1/2 cup ivory quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large, heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks, celery, red bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the amaranth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and thyme. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook at a gentle boil, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, puree 3 cups of the corn kernels with 1 cup of water. When the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, stir the corn puree and the remaining corn kernels into the soup. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa and amaranth are tender, 3 to 5 more minutes. When the quinoa is done, there will be no starchy white dot in the center of each grain, and some of the germs’ “tails” may unfurl and float freely. On close inspection, the amaranth will look like tiny opaque bubbles floating on the surface.
Stir in the milk and remaining tablespoon of butter. Add more salt, if needed. Divide into portions and garnish each with a little parsley.
NOTE: The soup thickens on standing; thin as needed with additional milk, and add salt to taste.
• For dots of color, use 2 tablespoons of red quinoa and a scant 1/2 cup ivory quinoa. Add the red quinoa when you add the amaranth.
• Use half-and-half or heavy cream instead of milk.
• Use dried tarragon instead of thyme.
Shrimp, Corn, and Quinoa Soup
Instead of water, use 4 cups of fish or clam broth. Use oregano instead of the thyme. Once the quinoa is tender, add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Omit the milk.
Posted January 2, 2010
I have been searching for a long time for a Good Grain cookbook that just doesn't use the grains but makes them taste good. I've bought many books that okay, but this one is fabulous.
Every recipe that my family has tried has been a huge success. I've got more favorites from this book that I've gotten for my huge cookbook library. Especially try the Posole with Pork and Chipotle, Page 188, this was made weekly until we had to step back from it. Spicy, smooth, savory, just a home run.
If you're interested in whole grain cooking and want recipes that taste good, you cannot go wrong with this cookbook.
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