Monday, March 24, 2008

Keen-on-Keen-wah Soup

The busy times are rolling again, but I just could not resist writing this quick post. This has got be the easiest soup I have ever made in my whole life: place stuff in the pressure cooker, let it hiss and whistle, open the cooker and eat. The hearty taste of quinoa, corn, carrots and onions gets a flavorful kick with the addition of some chipotle chillies in adobo sauce.

I bought a can of these chipotle chillies for under a dollar for this recipe several months ago, and placed the contents in a reused glass jar in the fridge. I use spoonfuls of it here and there with great results each time, and I have to say that it has been one of the most cost-effective ingredients I have ever purchased. Total paisa vasool (got my money's worth), as we say!

Corn Quinoa Chipotle Soup

(Inspired by Lisa's quinoa soup; makes 4 hearty servings)
4 C vegetable stock/water/combination of the two
1 onion, cut in small dice
1 carrot, cut in small dice
1 C corn kernels (fresh/frozen/canned)
0.5 C quinoa
2 t minced chipotle chillies + adobo sauce (or to taste)
salt to taste
fresh lemon/lime juice
Place all of the ingredients (except the lime juice) in the pressure cooker. Whether you need to add salt at all depends on how salty the vegetable stock is. Pressure cook (for approximately the time needed to cook white rice in your cooker). Stir in fresh lemon or lime juice into the soup and serve hot. Tortilla chips make a superb accompaniment!

By the way, if you don't have a pressure cooker, I don't see any reason why this recipe would not work on the stove-top. The reason I chose to use a pressure cooker is to save time and fuel and because this method needs no supervision- fill up the pressure cooker, turn on the stove and go find something else to do. The cooker will whistle loudly to remind you to turn it off.

Verdict: This is one delicious soup! It has no added fat, and packs a nutritional punch. It reminds me more of spicy Chinese corn soups than anything else. Next time, I will try a version with soy sauce and vinegar. One could play around endlessly with this soup, with any combination of spicy and tangy flavorings.

Another quick chipotle recipe: Stir a tablespoon or so of minced chipotle chillies in adobo sauce into 1 cup thick yogurt (low-fat yogurt placed in a strainer/cheesecloth for a couple of hours to allow the whey to drain out). Add salt to taste and some minced cilantro or minced green onions if you have any on hand. This makes a great dip for crudites or tortilla chips. We use it as a decadent condiment on bean burritos. All the panache of sour cream without tons of calories.

Have a good week. Posting might be slower from now on :) or perhaps I will write some short and sweet posts instead of the usual kahaniyan (stories)!


  1. oh, this one sounds so easy to make too!! I'm gonna make it for dinner tonight.. thanx

  2. Nupur, fancied ur title, tortilla arranged as a star, gives a lovely look to the healthiest soup, shall be trying this soon! Tks so much for sharing!!(Hwz Dale? Hug him for me, pls!!)

  3. That soup bowl looks yum o!!! I could definetly use some short & quick recipes! Nice one Nupur.. liked the idea of dip too, sounds simple & delicious.

  4. wow, the soup looks delicious!

  5. Is this quinoa week at OHS? ;)

  6. Looks and sounds wonderful, Nupur! Love chipotles! :)

  7. Discovered chipotle chillies in adobo sauce from your blog Nupur - when I tried your chilli stew/soup recipe. That came out so yummy, we've made it many times since - great winter dinner. And we have fallen in love with chipotle adobo sauce. Very potent stuff and lasts forever - I'm a member of the paisa vasool group too! Will try this soup for dinner tonite - chipotle and quinoa, two favorites - whats not to love! Thanks so much.

  8. Looks beautiful! I've had problems with quinoa being bitter -- can you recommend a brand or describe what you use to rinse it?

  9. Fantastic blog here Nupur. Blogrolling it right away. And thanks for that great sali par eedu recipe.

  10. I have some quinoa sitting around bought a while ago out of great interest, now this recipe has me excited again. I will get to use the quinoa now.

  11. Both are great recipes, Nupur! The dip is really a cramy and spicy idea :). The only way i can have quinoa is when its totally spiced up. So, the soup recipe would work well for me, its one spicy deal :-D.

    Take it easy, girl and post when you get time.


  12. Love your variation Nupur. I have noted your changes and will play around with my version next time I make it. I must try adding chipotles. I'm so glad you liked this soup.

  13. Hmmm... now I have to go look for chipotle chillies in adobo sauce during my next trip to the store.
    I love the fact that the recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients.

  14. Perfect -- and I have all of the ingredients in my pantry! I love adding a teaspoon or two of adobo sauce to soups and stews -- it adds an undertone of spice that seems just right.

  15. My kind of quick and hearty soup! Loved your purple aloo parathas - sorry that they did not taste as good as the regular stuff :)

  16. Love quick and easy and I'm eager to get more familiar with quinoa, so I'm going to have to try this. I also love your idea for chipotle flavored yogurt! I've been keeping leftover canned chipotle in the freezer, but having them at the ready in the refrigerator sounds like a much better idea!

  17. such a easy and healthy soup Nupur...and the dip sounds gr8 too.Have never tried Quinoa though ..will find out whats it called in russian and look for it:)

  18. Ramya, if you do try it, let me know if you like it :)

    Purnima, glad you like my little attempt at food styling ;)
    Thanks for asking about Dale...he has some complications from his medication but now is better than he was over the weekend. And he sends his love :)

    Seema, yes, this is definitely one of the quickest recipes I have ever tried :) the dip is addictive...I'm warning you :D

    Uma, thanks!

    Suganya, maybe!

    Kalai, yup, me too :)

    Prashanti, so glad the chili worked for you. It does make for a hearty winter supper! yes, "potent" is just the word! If you try this soup, let me know what you think :)

    Bek, you know, I never even considered that quinoa could be bitter and that I should be rinsing it etc. This is the only quinoa I have ever cooked with: Trader Joe's Organic Quinoa (comes in a little yellow box). I did not detect any bitterness in this one.

    Sidin, welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy it!

    Indosungod, I hope you enjoy the recipe :) I know just what you mean...I have so many things that languish in the pantry for want of some new recipes.

    Musical, I agree- I would find quinoa quite bland on its own too. This soup can be made as spicy as you can handle it ;)

    Lisa, chipotles matched so well with the quinoa. Thanks for the great soup idea.

    TBC, yes, they are totally worth seeking out. You will find them in the Mexican foods aisle or the "ethnic foods" aisle of the supermarket, and of course in Mexican grocery stores.

    Dhivya, thanks!

    Lydia, is that warm and spicy undertone that is just irresistible in soups and stews.

    Nandita, yes, purple potatoes are best roasted (IMHO) rather than as paratha stuffing. I guess I need to keep in mind that certain kinds of potatoes have their own optimal uses.

    Cathy, you will enjoy this soup...while the weather is still on the cooler side :) Yes, I do like having this on hand in a jar in the fridge. Like any other pickle or condiment, it seems to have a long life.

    Saswati, quinoa is native to south america and has only recently been rediscovered. I am not sure whether it will even have a name in Russian. But you might find it being sold as quinoa in perhaps some international markets there. If not, another grain like millet might work in this soup :)

  19. First time visitor.. was looking for some recipes.. am floored by the collection you have here.. and here I was patting myself on the back for being such a good cook! great work! I am hooked!

  20. quite a hearty and comforting soup, Nupur.....the chipotle chilies must have added just the right touch.

  21. I wonder if we get Quinoa here... so many posts about it of late :-)

  22. Hi Nupur! I love the title! I bought some quinoa and tried it plain, but didn't like it very much. Thanks for suggesting using it in soup. I don't know why that didn't cross my mind before.

  23. I love your blog. Absolutely love it. I cant wait to try out every single recipe here. Its amazing how you put up such exotic and alluring photos and make it sound so simple.

    I haven't cooked too much and considering I am living with folks I haven't had the need to. But I should be tying the knot soon and I cant wait to try out all these recipes.

  24. Hey Nupur, I tried this soup last night I really liked it. I did not have the chipotle chile so used cumin powder and sambar powder instead :) I also made your corn bread to go along with it. I added very little salt and so it tasted a little bland but apart from that it tasted yummy. Thank you :)

  25. Hi Nupur,
    Tried out the quinoa soup , even my 20 month old loved it :) I needed a favour from you...a lot of the blogs are now by invitation only (foreg trupti of the spice who loved me )...and the latest is nandita of saffrontrail , i dont have an invitation and i dont know how to contact her so that i could get one ...could you please help me out in this regard?i have been a regular reader of her blog and really loved her healthy recipies . and yeah if you ever decide to go this route please send me one at
    thanks a lot

  26. All healthy dishes... ohhh.... i think its on my mind thats why i see all dishes around food bloggers like that or it is for real ?
    I said this the deeba and revathi too . I just started planning healthy meals and here are many on my way , I didn't have to search in any depth :). Thanks a lot for wonderful recipe. Quinoa is really a healthy choice.
    hugs to you :) .

  27. This is a fantastic recipe, Nupur. I am addicted to those chipotles in adobo sauce. I mix them in light mayo and use it as a spread on wraps and sandwiches a lot too. I'll be trying this one soon. Thanks!

  28. This is inspired, Nupur!! I have two boxes of quinoa just waiting to be tossed into the pressure cooker -- what a great recipe! I love the addition of the adobo chiles, too... yum! :)

  29. Quinoa is my favorite grain ever. Those tiny pearls are full of delicious flavor and protein.
    I like to make salads with it, the soup sounds like something I'll need to try as well!


  30. DotMom, Welcome! Thank you for the sweet words :) and no, I am not a good cook by any means...trying to learn and get better every day.

    Priyanka, yes, the chipotle chillies truly make this soup tasty!

    Raaga, you might ask Anita about the availability of quinoa...I just remembered seeing a quinoa soup on her blog some time ago. Better yet, try making this soup with some other grains like millet which are widely available in India :)

    Anali, I agree...plain quinoa is a little bland for my tastes too! But in a spicy soup, it really takes on a wonderful hearty flavor :)

    She, I'm so glad to hear that you like my blog :) This may be the first and last time my photos are described as "exotic and alluring" so thank you for being so kind :D

    Priya, Did you make the soup with stock or water? If you used water, then you definitely need to add "normal" amounts of salt :) I'm going to steal your idea and try this with sambar powder and perhaps some tamarind! Hope all is well with you, my dear.

    Roshni, glad you and your baby enjoyed the soup!
    Roshni, I respect Nandita's wishes to decide who gets to access her blog, so I am afraid I cannot help you out in this regard.

    Pooja, glad you like the recipe, and I hope you get to try it :)

    Susan, they are addictive, aren't they??! Come summer, I will definitely be slathering chipotle on wraps just like you :)

    Linda, I think you will like this recipe, especially since the pressure cooker makes it ridiculously easy.

    Teddy, I am only just starting to use quinoa, but yes, I do like it. I need to use it in salads too!

  31. I love one pot recipes like this. I made a vegan chili quinoa like that this week, just tossed everything in the pot and 15 minutes later I had a wonderful meal ready to serve.

    I don't have a pressure cooker, but I think this would cook fine on the stove.

    I will have to look around for the canned chipotle chillies. The only canned chiles I find at my store are mild. :(

  32. Nupur,
    I tried this recipe last came out awesome!
    thank you much for sharing it!


    1. Mukta- thanks for the feedback and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!


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