This is a recipe that I got out of the book The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen. Since this book was recently #3 on the New York Times best selling list and he was the chef who helped Oprah with her 21 day vegan cleanse I figured this book was worth taking a look at. The photographs in the book are stunning and every recipe has a picture with it which I think is a big plus for every person looking for recipes.
Everything in the book looks amazing and is worth trying. He does use a lot more oils and fat filled foods than I prefer but I will just alter the recipes to use less or no fats where I can while keeping as much of the recipe in tact as possible. That is what I did with this corn chowder. I did not use any oil what so ever and I think it turned out wonderfully.
I would however suggest organic frozen (already off the cob) corn be used. Fresh corn can be not so fresh and if that is the case it can ruin the entire soup and I don’t think it is worth the risk. One other tip I would give is cooking one potato in the microwave and mashing it and add it half way through instead of mashing some on the side of the pan since that gets very hot.
I am typing the recipe exactly as it is in the book and will make side comments where I changed something.
Corn Chowder from The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I steamed in water-no oil)
2 cups diced Vidalia onions
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, de-ribbed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 dried chipotle pepper
5 cups faux chicken stock (try Better Than Bouillon brand)
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 fresh thyme sprig
Kernels from 6 ears of corn, plus 2 ears roasted or grilled corn (as I stated above I used frozen corn at eyeballed amount that looked good-roasted 1 cup in the oven)
1 1/2 cups thick Cashew Cream (see below for recipe)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/2 cup diced tomato
- Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect. (As I said above I just steamed my veggies in the water using no oil)
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and chipotle pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock, potatoes, and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- With the back of a spoon, smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot and stir to thicken the soup. Add the raw corn and Cashew Cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the chipotle pepper and thyme sprigs. Garnish with the chives, tomato, and roasted corn kernels.
2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water.
- Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place in a blend with enough fresh cold water to just cover them. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth.