Quinoa Chowder

Step 1:

  • In a medium saucepan, pour in the soup base and bring to a gentle simmer.

Step 2:

  • While the soup is heating up, in a small sauté pan add 1 tbsp of cooking oil. Add the smoked bacon and begin to render (cook out the fat). Once the bacon is crisp, set aside to garnish the soup.

Step 3:

  • To serve, divide the soup between two bowls. Fold in the parsley and chives. Garnish with smoked bacon and crispy potato strips. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Red Quinoa, Achiote Paste, Onion, Garlic, Heavy Cream, Vegetable Stock, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Russet Potato, Smoked Bacon, Chive, Parsley, Corn, Butter

How We Got Here:

First we sweat the onion and garlic. To this we add the achiote paste (a sweet/nutty paste made from annatto seeds). We then add the quinoa and toast. Next we add our house made vegetable stock and a touch of heavy cream. Last, we thinly slice the russet potatoes and lightly fry, this gives great texture to the soup. The bacon is smoked in house and sliced thin. All the remaining ingredients are carefully prepped and packaged ready for you, the @home chef, to finish the dish. Enjoy!

Sommelier Doug Smith’s

Tasting Notes/Recommended Wine Pairings

Wine Recommendation: Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette, 2018 (Total Wine $29.99)

Premium Recommendation: Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, 2017 (Total Wine $46.99)

Quinoa is a nutty, protein-rich grain native to the Andes Mountains but now grown in the US.  Chef creates a unique chowder with the grain, adding corn and bacon as well as the heavy cream which drives the wine pairing.  So we recommend a Pinot Noir which works beautifully with both the bacon flavors and the heavy cream.  The softness of the wine will not overpower the cream-based dish but the nuttiness of the Quinoa and the bacon really shine alongside the Pinot.  In the past, we recommended a Pinot Noir from France, the homeland of the grape and where many a famed Pinot Noir hails from.  In this pairing, we are headed to one of our favorite places to get a US based Pinot Noir – the Pacific Northwest, specifically, Oregon.  There are now many regions in the US making excellent Pinot’s but the Willamette Valley truly shines as the producer of outstanding versions.  The climate is perfect for the finicky grape to grow and years of fine-tuning the winemaking process has created many wonderful examples of what you can get here in the good old USA.  Winemakers in Oregon began experimenting with fine-wine grape varietals just 50 years ago, and today, Oregon wine is recognized for its exceptional quality by wine lovers and experts around the world. The state has become a magnet for small-scale, family-run wineries that focus on quality and sustainability.

Most of the grapes for Oregon wine grow about 60 miles inland from the Pacific coast, between two protecting mountain ranges: the grand volcanic range of the Cascades to the east, and the more modest and forested Coast Range on the west side. The Coast Range provides some cover from coastal winds and rain, and helps keep temperatures in a moderate range. The Willamette Valley has, for centuries, been the center of Oregon agriculture, filled with orchards and grazing lands. But its long summer days and cool nights are particularly suited for viticulture, as grapes can ripen fully, yet retain their natural acidity.

We recommend the Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette, 2018 as it has a very attractive fragrance with a perfumed nose of roses, red cherries and pastry. The palate has good intensity and depth with very supple, sweet red cherries taking center stage.  The premium selection is a Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, 2017, which is just flat-out delicious with very vibrant red cherries and a wealth of fresh red flowers and a spicy edge. The palate has a soft, pure and neatly defined feel with fresh red cherries.  It’s a delight worth the price.

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