Friday, March 27, 2015

Foodie Fridays: Cashew Corn Chowder

Chilly weather is returning briefly to our area this weekend, which has me wanting to make soup.  I have been craving a good corn chowder, but one without potatoes so that the sweetness of the corn will dominate the flavor without being diluted by the starchiness of the potatoes.  In my search for a corn chowder recipe without potatoes, I found one called Cashew Corn Chowder with Cilantro Cream.  The recipe calls for making your own cashew cream by soaking cashews overnight and then pulverizing them in a food processor, but I decided to substitute a new product from Silk I bought recently called Cashewmilk.  I got the unsweetened version, and this nut milk is quite thick.  It worked just fine for the soup, but unfortunately the cilantro cream was not a success.  I think next time I would just mince some cilantro and let people stir it into their own servings if they like.

If you are not opposed to dairy products, you could dollop a bit of sour cream or plain yogurt on the top, but the soup really is excellent on its own.  I changed up the spices, so feel free to do the same to suit your taste.  The original recipe calls for three ears of fresh corn, but since corn season is months away I just used frozen corn.  I happened to have a can of crabmeat in the pantry, so I stirred it in for added protein, but it is not a noticeable flavor in this well-spiced soup.  For a higher-protein vegetarian version, I might add some shelled edamame next time.  Or I might just add nothing extra, and enjoy it plain once again!

Cashew Corn Chowder

1 T. coconut oil*
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
16 oz. frozen corn (no need to thaw)
4 C. vegetable broth
1 C. cashew milk
juice of 1/2 lime
minced cilantro (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  When hot, add the spices and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  If the bottom of the pot becomes dry, add a little broth instead of oil to moisten.

Add the corn kernels to the pot and stir to coat with spices.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining broth.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes.  Once the corn is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly.  With an immersion blender, blend the soup until relatively smooth (you can also use a regular blender).  Stir in the cashew milk.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Stir in the lime juice.  Serve with minced cilantro on the side for those who like this herb.  Serves 4.

*Use butter or any oil you like if you do not have coconut oil.


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