Thick creamy and satisfying mushroom chowder
What i love most about autumn is that it's the perfect time to enjoy a warming bowl of soup every day for lunch (I have to be honest i pretty much do that all year round, but now it feels more acceptable).
Chowders are traditionally fishy and creamy which of course doesn't fit into a plant based diet very well, but i just love the richness and the heartiness of them. So I've done quite a bit of experimenting to find the perfect plant based chowder. Two of my favs are sweetcorn chowder and mushroom chowder.
Today i'm going to share the mushroom chowder recipe which is full of lovely nutrients to keep you fighting fit during the change in weather; vit D from the mushrooms, protein from the cashews and vit B12 from the nutritional yeast.
Ingredients (makes 6-8 portions)
1 cup cashews
1litre vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bulb fennel
3 sticks celery
4 cloves garlic
300g new potatoes
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Soak the cashews in 500ml of the hot vegetable stock for 1hr. If you are using a stock cube or boullion powder then make it up with boiling water. Or if you are using homemade vegetable stock, heat it up in a saucepan or microwave and then soak the cashews in the hot stock.
- Prepare the leeks by removing the very top of the greens and outer layer only if it is particularly dirty, i like to avoid wasting anything as it's all full of flavour and going in a soup anyway, so appearance doesn't really matter on this occasion. Slice vertically in half and then chop into 2cm chunks. Rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt.
- Chop the fennel bulb; you can pretty much use the whole thing, remove the bottom inch at the root, but use the rest of the bulb and what stalks that it has, if you just buy a bulb there won't be much there.
- Chop the celery, this can be quite roughly done as you will be blending this soup anyway.
- Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped leeks and crushed garlic, saute for 5-10 mins until they go soft and vibrant. Then add the fennel & celery and allow to saute for another 5 mins, stirring often to avoid any sticking.
- If you are using new potatoes, you don't need to peel them, just wash and chop into half or quarters, so they are all roughly the same size and will cook at the same speed.
- Add the potatoes, cup of dried porcini mushrooms, rosemary, parsley & remaining vegetable stock.
- Wash & roughly chop the fresh mushrooms, then add to the pan.
- Blend the cashews with the vegetable stock that they were soaking in to a smooth broth and add this to the pan.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 mins until the potatoes are soft.
- Blend to a smooth thick chowder consistency and then stir through the nutritional yeast (optional, but adds a subtle flavour and a boost of vit B12)
- Taste and adjust flavour with salt and pepper as required.
I'll share the sweetcorn chowder recipe another day so you can experiment with your plant based chowders and find one floats your boat.
Please share your photos / feedback if you try the recipe I love seeing your creations.