Comforting Creamy Creole Vegetable Chowder – Food for a Pandemic

Comforting Creamy Creole Vegetable Chowder – Food for a Pandemic

We head back to work tomorrow. Our showroom has been closed for 45 days, but we are coming back stronger and cooler than ever

I will be packing my masks, gloves, sanitizer and fresh food full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances found in plant based foods that may protect your cells from free radicals, like the lycopene in tomatoes, carotenoids in carrots, indole 3 carbinol in cauliflower and lutein in cashews. I want to share more about cashews.

We’ve all heard that carrots are good for your eyes, but it might come as a surprise that cashews are, too. Cashews contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants. When consumed daily, these antioxidant compounds can protect the eyes from the type of damage that can lead to blindness as we get older. By including into your regular diet they can also help decrease the risk of cataracts. This recipe is packed with both!

I usually purchase cashews raw and use them for adding a creamy vegan base to my dishes that is low is saturated fats. They do contain healthy fats, as long as you don’t eat too much they may help prevent heart diseases and strokes.

I love using cashews as a cream base for vegan recipes. In this recipe I am just blending with a simple veggie broth but cashew cream can be a stand-alone creamy condiment, cheese, or even a vegan dessert option to cheese cake. If cashews do not work for you, trying subbing canned coconut milk.

 

Creamy Vegan Vegetable Chowder
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Vegan with a cream base of cashew cream. Use whatever veggies you have on hand, any substitutions should equal about 8 cups. Recipe can be easily reduced by half. Adjust seasonings by taste.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked for about 4-8 hours
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, half or full moons
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup cauliflower or sweet potato (or mix) replace with other vegetables on hands such as green beans, cabbage, zucchini, etc
  • 1/4 cup sliced potato optional see above
  • 1 tbsp cajun or creole spice mix typically includes smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, thyme, oregano and basil, cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 2-3 cups cups torn spinach or baby kale
  • 1 can beans such as cannelloni , rinsed drained
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne less if prefer not spicy
Instructions
  1. After soaking cashews, drain and blend with 1 cup broth until smooth.

    Heat oil in dutch oven or soup pan. Add onion, cook until soft (about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cajun seasoning. Cook for 30 seconds

    Add the remaining vegetables, tomatoes, 3 cups broth, cashew cream, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cayenne. Bring to a boil then return to a bubbly simmer for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Blend 1/4-1/3 of the soup in a high speed blender until creamy, return to soup pan. Add beans and spinach or kale. Cook until heated through and spinach is wilted. 



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