Reminiscing on my trip to Peru, I created this wholesome, rustic chowder based on the three plant-powered staples in Peru: quinoa, corn, and beans. When you combine these three plants together, you get quite the nutrition wallop of protein, fiber, slow-digesting carbs, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. 

The Incans in this region really knew their stuff, as these foods were essentially the backbone of the indigenous diet. If you travel in the Sacred Valley of Peru, you will find these crops growing on small farms, and ladies grilling corn on the streets in small villages. So many of our best and most beautiful plant foods come from this bioregion of the world. So, though these ingredients may seem humble, they are as proud as they can be.

Just pair this hearty soup with a green salad and you’re all set! This soup is really thick and hearty enough to be the main event of your meal. You can make up a pot in 20 minutes with only 10 ingredients, excluding pantry staples. It is so simple and delicious—pure plant-based bliss in my book.


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This wholesome, rustic chowder is based on the three plant-powered staples in Peru: quinoa, corn, and beans.

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (red, white, or multi-colored)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (red, green, yellow, or orange)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups plain, unsweetened plant-based milk (i.e., soy or almond)
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained (may substitute black beans)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Optional: pinch salt

  1. Heat a heavy pot and toast quinoa in the pot for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Add olive oil, onions, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add broth and plant-based milk, stirring well.
  4. Add corn, beans, parsley, thyme, cayenne pepper, and salt (optional). Stir until well combined.
  5. Heat chowder, while stirring frequently, until bubbly and thickened, and quinoa and vegetables are tender—about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Makes 6 servings (about 1 1/4 cups each).


InstantPot Directions: Place all ingredients in the container of the InstantPot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Slowcooker Directions: Place all ingredients in the container of the Slowcooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 282
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 252 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

For other plant-based soup recipes, try the following:

Curried Leek Vegetable Soup
Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric
Classic Tomato Soup

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