Creamy Veggie-ful Chowda with Herbs De Provence
A nourishing comfort dish
This recipe is so delicious and comforting like a warm hug. I contributed this recipe to “The Whole Foods Diet Cookbook,” and made it on local morning TV on Fox Austin. The anchorwoman loved it and said she could eat it every day!
I loved New England clam chowder when I was a kid. But nowadays would probably have a very unpleasant reaction to all that dairy and mollusk! This version is even more satisfying and definitely more nutritious!
Variation: If you are limiting your fat intake, you can always replace the cashews with an unsweetened plant milk like Pacifica Oat Milk. I’ve never made it that way but I am sure it would work.
1 large onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large celery sticks, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 T Herbs De Provence (optional, can use dried thyme and rosemary)
1/2 head (around 3 cups) cauliflower florets
1 large yukon gold potato, large dice
1 cup of corn (fresh or thawed frozen)
6 – 8 cups vegetable broth or bouillion -set aside 1/2 cup for cooking mushrooms
(I like Better Than Bouillon “Un Chicken” and Edward & Sons “Not Chik’un” cubes)
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
3 T chickpea miso paste (or any yellow or white miso paste)
1/2 a head of kale, de-stemmed, rinsed and cut into bite size pieces
In separate pan/skillet:
3 cups oyster mushrooms whole, plus the stems rough chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp kelp granules or flaked nori
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a large pot to medium high heat. Saute onion, garlic, celery and carrot, into soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes, splashing broth as needed to prevent sticking/burning. Add the Herbs De Provence and saute another minute more. Stir in the potato and cauliflower, add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes or until the potato and cauliflower are fork tender. Add corn and cook a few minutes more.
While the pot of soup is cooking, heat a skillet and add a few splashes of the saved vegetable broth. Add mushrooms with chopped stems and 1/2 tsp of the kelp or nori and stir frequently adding broth as needed to prevent sticking. Cook until soft. Set aside.
Scoop one to two cups of soup from pot into a blender or Vitamix and add the cashews, miso and remaining tsp of kelp or nori. Blend until smooth and add back into pot and stir (or use and immersion blender to blend some of the soup).
Wilt in the kale and add the mushrooms to pot and continue cooking a few minutes more.
Ladle into individual bowls and serve with lots of fresh cracked pepper and some crusty bread.
Variations: this recipe is great for using up bits and bobs of vegetables in your refrigerator or freezer. Fresh or frozen peas, parsnips, green beans, snap peas, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potatoes, partially used onions or scallions, mushrooms, spinach, chard, collards, etc. Just cook the harder vegetables first and add the softer vegetables later and wilt the greens in at the end. So easy!