Creamy Vegan Potato Chowder

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Creamy Vegan Potato ChowderChowders are typically loaded with bacon and cream; this one has neither but is still creamy and bold. We’ll give away our tricks: cashews blended with some of the simmered soup make a creamy body, and a blend of spices, garlic, and soy sauce simulate the umami of meat. Neither Alex nor I eat solely vegan, but we love the challenge of inventing satisfying plant-based options to cook for others. For the garnish, thin strands of chard and sliced green onions bring an unexpected crunch. The soup involves a bit of chopping up front, but the end result is worth it.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • ½ cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 medium size)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 green onions, for garnish
  • 2 large chard leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with cold water; allow them to soak while preparing the recipe.
  2. Peel and dice the onion and carrots, then dice the celery and place them together in a bowl. Peel and mince the garlic, and peel and dice the potatoes.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the broth, soy sauce, paprika, thyme, oregano,
  4. onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a high simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the soup simmers, if using fresh corn, cut the corn from the cob. Thinly slice the green onion tops (dark green portions only) and chard.
  6. Drain the cashews. Using a 2-cup glass measuring cup with spout, carefully scoop out about 4 cups of the hot soup and place it in a blender, then add the drained cashews. Blend on high for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
  7. Return the mixture to the soup pot, then stir in the corn and simmer for another minute or two until the corn is tender. Taste and add a few additional pinches of salt if desired. Serve warm, garnished with sliced green onions and chard.

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