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updated: 3/7/2018 10:30 AM

A soup with substance? Cashews to the rescue, again.

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  • There's a good bit of chopping upfront for Creamy Vegan Potato Chowder, but the result is worth it. The doubling-up of fresh and dried onion and garlic, plus the soy sauce and other dried herbs and spices, amp up the umami.

    There's a good bit of chopping upfront for Creamy Vegan Potato Chowder, but the result is worth it. The doubling-up of fresh and dried onion and garlic, plus the soy sauce and other dried herbs and spices, amp up the umami.
    Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

 
By Joe Yonan
The Washington Post

Creamy without the cream. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for in a first-quarter-of-the-year soup -- something that might taste a little indulgent and filling for these cold February nights but that will help me continue my post-holidays trim-down strategy.

Cashews, of course, are the answer. As I've rhetorically asked before, aren't they always? Before you add them to this chowder, it's a perfectly respectable chunky potato and vegetable soup. But after you scoop out some of the soup, whir it in a blender with a mere half-cup of soaked cashews and return it? You might as well have stirred in a cup of cream and a stick of butter -- that's how rich it tastes.

There's one more thing that goes in -- a dose of corn, which in the spirit of winter comes straight from the freezer, not the cob, although you're welcome to repeat this in the height of summer. A creamy chowder, especially one as good and guilt-free as this, should always be in season.

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