If you are craving warm comfort food that’s yummy, but good for you too, then this ones for you. This vegetarian chowder is creamy, delicious and a great way to add colorful vegetables to your diet. If that’s not enough to convince you, it’s dairy-free and the thickener is blended cashews. If you haven’t tried blended cashews, you are in for a treat!
This chowder can easily be served as a main course. Once you chop all the vegetables (feel free to use a food processor fitted with the metal blade), the rest is a breeze. Plus it can easily be modified to fit a vegan, vegetarian or paleo diet.
Vegetarian Sweet Potato, Corn & Kale Chowder
(Makes about 12 cups)
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 large sprig fresh thyme, leaves minced
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
5 – 3/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 cups chopped fresh kale (make sure you remove the heavy stems first)
salt & white pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste (I used just a dash)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
Avocado (for topping)
Method: In a large stock pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Saute the carrots, onions, celery, red peppers and sweet potatoes about 3 minutes or just until they soften.
Add the thyme and turmeric, combining well with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and 5 cups vegetable broth. Stir well, bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook 20 minutes.
Add the corn, kale, salt and white pepper. Return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Season with cayenne pepper.
Meanwhile, in a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cornstarch, the remaining 3/4 cup broth, and the cashews. Slowly stir this mixture into the simmering soup and continue to simmer, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and serve. The soup can be made several hours or a day ahead. Reheat slowly over medium-low heat. It will also keep well, covered and refrigerated up to 30 days.
Tips: I skipped the cornstarch and blended broth and cashews for thickness. I love to top the chowder with sliced avocado.
For my paleo & grain-free friends: Skip the cornstarch and corn kernels. You can always add animal protein or bone broth if you’d like.