Jan 26, 2009
This soup was inspired by the current issue of Veg News, and the chowder recipe by Allison Rivers Samson (my hero when it comes to cashews). It's a creamy, decadent, soup with mushrooms to take the place of the clams. The cashews give it an unbelievable richness, but could be left out if you want to go lower-fat. To me, it's very much like clam chowder, but it doesn't have that clammy-seafood flavor (which is fine with me). My friend suggested adding a little vegetarian fish sauce (found in Asian markets), which sounded intriguing. So she added some to her bowl, and liked it, but made the comment that the salt would have to be reduced in the recipe to compensate for the salt in the "fish" sauce.
The base of this soup (cauliflower, potato, cashews, onions, & broth) could easily be made into any creamy soup you can imagine!
I cheated again with another Asian faux meat (been doing that a lot lately)... for the Fried Chick'n, I used these ingenious drumstick-shaped faux meat on a stick. They come in packages of 6 or 12. One note of caution: Make sure to read the ingredients label- some of these faux meats contain eggs or whey(milk product). I simply battered them in a mixture of flour, cold water, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (resembling thin pancake batter). Then, dredged them in panko bread crumbs and fried them in a little oil at the bottom of a big skillet- turning them once to fry both sides). I must say, these are VERY much like real chicken, it's a bit scary.
Accompanying them, are some delicious crispy roasted kale - stripped leaves tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes (careful not to burn).
This makes about 6 servings
3 medium potatoes (about 3 C. chopped)
2 C. chopped mushrooms (the original recipe called for oyster mushrooms, but I used plain old white button mushrooms)
oil for saute & roasting
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head of cauliflower (about 3 C. chopped)
1/4 C. broth powder
5 C. water
1 C. raw cashews
salt, pepper to taste
vegetarian fish sauce to taste (optional)
In a sauce pan, put half of the chopped potatoes (1 1/2 C.) with enough water to cover. Cover the pan and boil until potatoes are tender.
Heat your oven to 425 degrees, and toss mushrooms in a little oil, salt , and pepper, then spread onto a sheet pan and roast for about 5-6 minutes.
In a large soup pot, add a little oil and saute the onions on med-high heat (do not brown) for a few minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so. Add the cauliflower and remaining potatoes, and broth powder, and toss together. Add the water and let simmer until everything is tender.
In a food processor, process the cashews until you get a fine crumble. Add about 1/2 C. of the broth in the pot to the processor and spin until smooth and creamy.
Add the cashew mixture to the soup and mix well. When veggies are tender, turn off the heat and puree the soup until smooth, using a stick blender. Mix in the remaining cooked potatoes (drained) and mushrooms, and season to taste.