Grains make a Wonderful Comfort Chowder

I made a great tasting chowder today and want to share it with others that love grains as much as I do!  It’s a one-pot soup that takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare.  The ingredients are simple and found in most home pantries. The recipe is flexible so don’t be afraid to experiment using ingredients you have available.  It is nutritious, delicious, stores well, freezes well, and demonstrates the joy of cooking at home; one of life’s simple pleasures!

Barley, Brown Rice, Lentil, and Quinoa Chowder

Fill a stock pot with approximately 1 gallon of chicken, beef, or vegetable broth. Bring to boil over high heat.  Add 1 cup of dried barley and 1 cup of brown rice and bring back to boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Add 1 cup lentils and 1 cup quinoa.  Stir to incorporate and add additional water if necessary.

Chop vegetables and add to pot. Generally a cup or 1 1/2 cups each is good.  Some great ideas are: carrots, celery, onion, sweet pepper, kale, spinach, green beans, sugar snap peas, etc.  Choose your favorites and simmer until lentils and veggies are soft.  Season with salt, pepper, or spice of your choice.    Serve with crackers, bread sticks or fried bread and salad greens.

To freeze:  Cool and pour into freezer container; leave 1 inch head space.  Mark contents and date on lid and freeze.  To use:  defrost in microwave or refrigerator and heat through.

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