Why is this potato chowder so naughty? Because it cheats and lies! But they are the good kind of cheating and lying. Hmm…maybe I have a wicked concept of what ‘good’ is!? Hahaha
Not sure if you knew this or not but most potato chowders aren’t vegetarian, yet alone vegan. Apparently they get their flavour from bacon fat!! Traditional potato chowders start by frying up diced bacon and then sautéing the onion in the fat of that bacon. As disgusting as animal fat is, the flavour cannot be replaced by just vegetable oil. But bacon gets a lot of it’s flavour from being cured, smoked and may even have extra seasoning added to it.
Back to why this potato chowder is so naughty! I decided to take the trick that bacon uses. As in add the flavour that’s added to bacon and add it directly to the soup and save the little piggy ;P I mean seriously!? I’m saving a whole lotta steps and not to mention misery! So simple…just add a dash or two of liquid smoke and along with some good for you fat from cashews and coconut oil we’ve got a naughty lil potato chowder that’s so creamy and Mmmmm…yummy that it satisfies those umami tastebuds! You’ll have people begging for seconds and thirds and the recipe of course!
½ cup raw cashews (soaked in cold water for 2 hours)
1 sweet onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
8 medium red potatoes (diced 1×1 inch)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp white pepper
⅛-¼ tsp liquid smoke
1 cup corn (optional)
Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews in 1 cup of cold water for 2 hours. Cashews don’t need to be soaked anymore than 2 hours, but if you really want to you can soak them over night. The soaking helps in the digestion of the nut.
In a big soup pot melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil along with chopped garlic and continue to sautéing over medium heat for another 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grind a heaping 1/2 tsp of rosemary into a fine powder, either in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder to make 1 tsp of powdered rosemary. Add this, along with the rest of the spices of 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of white pepper to the onion and garlic and mix. Add the cubed up potatoes, mix well and add in 3 cups of vegetable stock along with one cup of water and the liquid smoke. Make sure the water level covers up all the potatoes. If it doesn’t, add enough water until it does.
Increase the heat until the stock starts to come to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a medium low and put the lid on with a crack, allowing the steam to escape. Let the soup cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked and the flavours are developed.
In the meantime, make your cashew cream. Rinse your soaking nuts (har har – I’m so funny!) with cold water and then blend it with one cup of cold water in a blender or I just did mine in my tiny food processor for a good 5 minutes until it was creamy.
After 20 minutes your potatoes should be cooked, if you’d cut them small enough. If not, you might need to give them more time. Stab a few of them with a fork and if they are fully cooked the skin should be falling apart. Oh yeah, I leave the skin on. The skin has most of nutrients and when blended make this tiny red bits that I lie to my meat eaters that they are the bacon bits. Well I don’t but I pretend on blogs that I do. I told you this chowder is naughty!!
Add your cashew cream along with the corn and heat on through and serve. I like to sprinkle course salt on it and if you have some on hand, chives are great on this chowder!!