It’s getting to be prime farmers market season again. And I could just squeal with delight.
I know I spend a lot of time talking about how much I love farmers markets, but I can’t help it. The moment I walk down that first aisle of stalls, I’m in my own little world. It’s a wonderful world full of endless possibilities that causes my brain to go into recipe overdrive and I have to stop myself from buying more than I can use in a week. If we had a daily farmers market, I’d be in heaven.
But what I love even more than the market itself is our routine of going to the market. We get up and wander to our sleepy downtown, maybe stopping in somewhere for coffee before perusing all the fresh, local produce. It’s a perfectly lazy morning, full of hand-holding and laughter that brings us closer and has us walking on air the rest of the day. It’s no wonder I love these mornings so much.
We’re lucky to have markets year-round here in California, but to me, it isn’t until April or May that I really get excited. So when we made our first walk of the year a couple weeks ago, I was ecstatic. And when I saw this spectacular bunch of greens streaked with bright pink, even though I had no idea what it was, I wanted it. After a not-so-informative conversation with the vendor, I at least walked away knowing it was Chinese spinach. And after a little internet research, I now know it is also called amaranth.
Now I have to admit that I didn’t care for these greens raw. The leaves are tougher than regular spinach and to me, didn’t have a lot of flavor. But in this soup? Yes, please!
Quinoa and Chinese Spinach Soup
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter
1/2 cup quinoa
5 cups chicken broth, divided use
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 a carrot, shaved into strips
2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 large bunch Chinese spinach, leaves removed from stems (about 2 big handfuls of leaves)
Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain. Put quinoa in a saucepan with 1 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes until broth is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork and reserve.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté shallots, leeks, celery, carrots and jalapenos until softened. When bottom of pot starts to brown, add white wine and scrape bottom to deglaze. Let wine reduce and finish cooking vegetables. Add garlic and ginger and cook about 30 more seconds. Add 4 cups chicken broth and cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, then stir in spinach. Let simmer for about 1 minute to wilt spinach, then turn off heat and cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes to finish cooking spinach.
Serve with a squeeze of lime juice over the top of the soup.
Note: Soup thickens when refrigerated. When reheating, add more chicken broth as needed to thin.
This soup surprised me. It’s spicy and aromatic, but I was worried it might be too thin. I was wrong. For such a small grain, the quinoa is quite hearty and the spinach saved the day by really beefing things up. I wouldn’t make this without some sort of leafy green, and I’m not even a huge fan of leafy greens.
Don’t go away yet…I’ve got an OXO 5-pound digital food scale to give away! This product is part of the OXO Healthy Eating campaign, so you can weigh out portions or ingredients and know exactly what you’re eating…I think this soup qualifies as healthy eating, right?
The kind folks at OXO provided me with a scale to try out, and one to give away to a lucky commenter. I’ve been using my scale for weeks, and I keep thinking that I should include it in a baking post where I’m using it to precisely measure flour and sugar, but truthfully, I use my scale more for cooking than I do for baking, for everything from meat to veggies. So even if you’re not a baker, I think you’ll find it to be a very useful tool. And I love the pull-out display that makes it easy to weigh even large items…definitely my favorite feature with this product.
So, here’s the nitty gritty on how you can win this scale for yourself…
Giveaway will run through midnight PST on Thursday, April 26 and then I’ll pick a winner at random. US mailing addresses only, please.
To enter, do any or all of the following (be sure to come back and leave a separate comment for each entry):
- Tell me how you would use your food scale
- Check out this scale on the OXO product page and tell me which feature you’re most excited about
- Tweet the following: Enter to win an @OXO digital 5-lb food scale #giveaway from @tastytrials http://bit.ly/IAF3Bu
- Follow @tastytrials on Twitter
- Follow @OXO on Twitter
- Pin this post
Disclosure: While I received this product from OXO for free, all opinions are my own.