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Low-Waste Vegan Corn Chowder

Low-Waste Vegan Corn Chowder

Fiery peppers, whole corn on the cob, and creamy cashews combine to make one comforting bowl of chowder.  

Serves: 4
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This recipe from The Zero-Waste Chef cookbook calls for every part of the corn—the husk, the silk, and the cob for broth and the kernels for the chowder itself. Peppers impart subtle heat, while potatoes and celery lend heft and heartiness to this warming soup.

What you need:

4 ears corn on the cob, with husks and silks
8 cups water
½ cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, minced, with seeds
2 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 small red potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Red pepper flakes, to serve

What you do:

  1. Remove husks and silks from corn. Scrub ears well. Use a sharp knife to cut off kernels.
  2. Place cobs, husks, and silks in a large pot with water and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down to medium-low, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until broth turns golden and fragrant and tastes sweet. Strain through a sieve for about 5 cups broth.
  3. Place 1 cup of hot broth in a blender and add cashews. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  4. In a pan over medium heat, warm oil. Add garlic, ginger, onion, peppers, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in oregano. Add corn kernels and potatoes, and stir until coated.
  5. Add 4 cups of reserved broth, bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Purée cashews and broth in blender until creamy.
  7. To the blender, add 2 cups of soup and purée until smooth, then stir purée into pot. Add lime juice and salt. 
  8. Ladle chowder into 4 serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro and red pepper flakes.

Photo credit: Ashley McLaughlin

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