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updated: 8/31/2011 8:02 AM

Shrimp Stew

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cup chopped green pepper

cup chopped red pepper

cup sliced green onions

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups V-8 (low sodium, preferred)

8 ounces clam juice

teaspoon salt

teaspoon thyme

teaspoon basil

- teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)

1 bay leaf

1 cup quinoa

1 package (16 ounces) frozen cooked shrimp (small to medium size)

Hot pepper sauce, if desired

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, saute green and red peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat until tender, 5-7 minutes. Stir in V-8, clam juice, salt, thyme, basil, pepper flakes and bay leaf and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, stir in quinoa and cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Add shrimp. Simmer 5-10 minutes or until shrimp is thoroughly heated.

At serving, add hot pepper sauce if desired.

Serves four to six.

About this recipe: This recipe started out as someone's shrimp soup recipe, but it didn't work for me. There wasn't enough substance to it and it was "blah" as a soup. I experimented with the spices and peppers, added more V-8 and took out the water, and added quinoa for a little more texture and protein to round out the recipe. The end result is a healthy, simple stew that can be eaten year round.

TerrieAnn Jones, Palatine