Corn and sweet potato chowder

By Wendy Andresen | Jan 09, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

This chowder tastes like a high-calorie indulgence but is actually loaded with health-promoting vegetables in a base that seems creamy because it is thickened with cashews. Unlike other nuts, cashews are 10 percent starch and can be used as a thickener for all sorts of dishes.

I like to serve this chowder with some crusty bread slathered in chimichurri, which offers a slightly tart, savory counterpoint to the creamy chowder. This sauce with the euphonious name has many variations, but appears to have originated in Argentina as an uncooked pesto-type condiment that can elevate plain foods to new heights. Try it on baked potatoes, bread, pasta or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients for chowder

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1 tsp. curry powder

3 cups water or vegetable broth

2 cups diced sweet potato (about 12 to 14 ounces)

2 cups corn kernels (frozen OK)

1 cup diced extra-firm tofu, such as Heiwa

1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk

1/2 cup whole raw cashews

1 tsp. salt, or possibly much more, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper for garnish

Sliced scallions for garnish

Directions for chowder:

1. In a soup pot, cook onions on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add curry powder and cook for another minute.

2. Add water, sweet potato, corn kernels and salt. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

3. Place nondairy milk and cashews in a high-speed blender or smoothie maker and process for 2 full minutes. Add to soup pot.

4. Add tofu. Cook until thickened.

5. Serve hot and garnish with freshly ground black pepper and sliced scallions.

Chimichurri sauce

Ingredients

1 cup fresh parsley, washed and stemmed

1 cup fresh cilantro, washed and stemmed

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 cup sliced scallions, green parts included

1/4 cup olive oil (use your best)

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch of dried red pepper flakes

Directions

Add all ingredients to a small blender or food processor or use an immersion blender. Blend everything together, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. You can circumvent mincing the garlic by processing it first with the olive oil, then adding the other ingredients. Serve the chimichurri in a cute little jar with your mom’s heirloom spoon. Mom would be proud of you for this special touch.

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