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Quinoa Corn Chowder
Serves 3 to 4
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leek or onion
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed by swishing in a bowl and drained
4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
1 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped if large
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1 to 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Popcorn for garnish, plus more for passing at the table
1. In a heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the leek and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to wilt, about 4 minutes.
2. Add 4 cups of water and the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa. Boil uncovered over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process 3 cups of the corn kernels with 1 cup of water to create a coarse puree.
4. After the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the corn puree and remaining corn kernels. Adjust the salt and add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
5. Continue cooking until the quinoa is done (the grains should be translucent and have no opaque white dot in the center), about 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the olives, cilantro, scallion greens and additional tablespoon of oil.
6. Add enough lime juice to sharpen the flavors. Garnish with popcorn and pass additional popcorn in a bowl at the table.
Lorna Sass is the author of WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY, which won a 2007 James Beard Foundation Award in the "healthy focus" category. Her website is www.lornasass.com. Sass is also the author of Pressure Perfect: Two Hour Taste in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker.