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Ancient Grains Chowder


By:  Mariella L. Irivarren

A couple of days ago I was craving a good hearty soup, just like the ones my grandma used to make when I was a kid.  My grandpa was born in Arequipa, a beautiful city in the Andes of Peru, so my grandma became a master in Arequipean food, and one of her specialties was the “Chupe de Camarones” (shrimp chowder).  This recipe is inspired in the traditional Arequipean chowder.  It is healthy, filling and packed with tons of flavour.  Perfect to warm you up on those cold and rainy days!


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 cup tomatoes, dice

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste (you can order online)

3 medium yellow potatoes, cut in squares

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 cup frozen peas

8 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons dried oregano

¼ fresh cilantro, finely chopped

3 large eggs (optional)

½ cup feta cheese (optional)

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup Miski Organics White Quinoa Grains

½ cup Miski Organics Canihua Grains (baby quinoa)

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Add garlic, onions, turmeric and “aji amarillo” paste or hot chili paste.  Season with salt, pepper and oregano, cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, corn, peas, quinoa and canihua and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes and grains are cooked.  Reduce heat, add the cilantro, the feta cheese (optional), if desired crack the eggs into the soup and let cook for a few more minutes at low temperature until the eggs are fully cooked.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve and enjoy!

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