The requirement to do one thing on a regular basis always makes me realize how fast time moves over the course of a week. Last Sunday, I was enjoying a beautiful warm and sunny day much like the Sunday I find myself in today. I could get used to starting each week in such a nice way! Yet I also wonder what I did during all those cloudy days in between the sunshine. What am I doing with my time?
This question seems to creep up a lot when I do not have a clear finish line or a deadline looming ahead. I tell myself I will get to something later, but then later never happens. It is oftentimes hard to prioritize when I have no one but myself to be accountable to. Now that we are at a point in January when I am likely not alone in allowing my resolutions to gather some dust, I sit and wonder why I don’t make myself as much as a priority as I make everything else.
Case in point , this chowder recipe caught my eye last fall, but I just yesterday got around to making it. Ever in search of a new way to eat quinoa, I wanted to try the recipe as soon as I could. This experience has allowed me to recognize the baseline for “as soon as possible” in my world is right around three months.
Preparation takes a bit of effort with the need to roast and toast the red peppers and quinoa, yet when time slows down on the weekends, I don’t mind those extra steps so much. I have learned taking a few moments to slow down when I can often repays me with the gift of time when it is needed most. Spending a couple of meditative hours chopping and stirring yesterday resulted in a hearty soup I can quickly heat and eat for lunch or dinner during the busy week. I hope you find the time to do the same. Enjoy!
- 3 medium red peppers
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup flour
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk, plus an additional one to two cups for thinning
- 4 cups sweet corn (2, 15.25 ounce cans or 2, 10 ounce frozen packages)
- 1 can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- ½ teaspoon thyme, minced
- 1 1 /2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil in the oven until skins begin to blister and blacken, about five minutes. Rotate the peppers a quarter of a turn to roast until all sides are blistered and blacken. When fully roasted, remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a large bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to stand for 20 minutes.
- While the peppers cool, prepare the remaining ingredients. Begin by lightly toasting the quinoa in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about three to five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the flour (the mixture will clump) followed by the cream and first cup of milk.
- Then add in the toasted quinoa, corn and beans.
- Prepare the peppers for the soup by peeling off the charred skins and removing the stems and seeds. Chop and place into the pot.
- Stir the ingredients together and bring to boil, then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Finally, stir in the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. It may also be necessary to thin the soup with additional cup of milk or more during this final step.