Last night, in keeping with the weather theme of this whole week, it was FREEZING. Well, freezing for California which is still pretty cold (like 30-40 degrees)! So of course, I decided that soup would be the perfect thing to make for dinner and warm all of us up. Corn Chowder is something I’ve always enjoyed – but I never eat more than 2 bites of it because the traditional recipe is made with tons of butter and cream / whole milk – so the soup ends up being like 50% fat and tons of calories. Then I found this recipe on Vegetarian Times and I was super excited to try it because of all the healthy substitutions! The recipe and my modifications are below – enjoy!
- 3/4 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed and drained (I used white just because it makes the soup look more creamy)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil (I probably used about 3/4 of a Tbsp)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 small shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups plain soymilk (I used low fat soymilk)
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- Lime wedges, optional (I would actually recommend using the Lime because it adds a wonderful flavor to the soup!)
- Salt & Pepper to taste – this is a MUST!
- Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.
- Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add broth and soymilk, and bring to a boil.
- Stir in quinoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
- I served it with toasted pita wedges which were fun to use as little dippers in the soup!
The Nutritionals are also great: The recipe makes 6 servings; and one HUGE serving only has ~250 calories, 8g protein and 5g fiber!
The quinoa/cumin waiting to be toasted
And the rest of the ingredients – mostly from Trader Joe’s of course!
And the Finished Product!
I love the creaminess of the soup without adding tons of fat/calories! The red pepper and cilantro add a brightness of color to the dish, and the lime added a great brightness of flavor which was a nice surprise for our tastebuds