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Active time
10 minutes
Total time
35 minutes
3-4 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ cups finely chopped leek or onion

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

1 pound red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice (3 cups)

¾ cup quinoa, rinsed by swishing in a bowl and drained

4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels

½ pound peeled, small shrimp

1 ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup thinly sliced scallion greens

1 to 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Popcorn for garnish, plus more for passing at the table

  1. In a heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.  Add the leek and oregano.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to wilt, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of water (or fish or clam broth) and the potatoes.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa.  Boil uncovered over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process 3 cups of the corn kernels with 1 cup of water to create a coarse puree. 
  4. After the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the corn puree and remaining corn kernels.  Adjust the salt and add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Continue cooking until the quinoa is done (the grains should be translucent and have no opaque white dot in the center), about 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  6. Add shrimp, and cook until shrimp turn pink, about one minute. Stir in the cilantro, scallion greens and additional tablespoon of oil.
  7. Add enough lime juice to sharpen the flavors.  Garnish with popcorn and pass additional popcorn in a bowl at the table.

Lorna Sass is the author of Whole Grains for Busy People. For more recipes, please visit www.LornaSass.com. Photo by David Prince © 2006 Lorna Sass

Yield: 3-4 servings

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