I’ve made this recipe, inspired and adapted from the ‘Cashew Corn Chowder’ recipe from the My New Roots blog, a handful of times. Given that corn is a summer crop here in Bermuda, I thought it would be a great thing to serve to our sixty cooking class guests as shooters. Everyone loved it so much we had to triple the portion size for the following night. When I was sourcing the corn from farms and local grocers, I couldn’t find any fresh. Imagine that – setting a menu for 60+ and missing the most important ingredient! The reality is that on this beautiful little island, supply will fluctuate and weather will dictate what we can buy locally, so we always need a backup plan to avoid disappointment. I used organic frozen corn and couldn’t notice any difference. Frozen vegetables are quite nutritious because they are usually frozen on the same day that they are picked and prepared. Finding a good brand is key, of course. Frozen vegetables make for a nutritious and economical back up plan when fresh produce is limited.
Cashews, when soaked, blend with liquid into a silky, creamy texture – perfect for replacing dairy in all sorts of recipes. Here, we add the cashews to create a lovely creamy soup, and also to boost the protein content, which makes the soup more filling and provides us with energy for longer. We flavour the soup with spices, good quality vegetable broth and white wine. And we add in the maple syrup to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn – this really brings the soup to a new level. Corn is a delicious seasonal carbohydrate, so ensure you pair it with a decent quality protein and a fresh salad or other non-starchy vegetables.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 tbsp coconut oil or light olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. turmeric or golden paste
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
Cayenne to taste
3 ears of corn (or 2 cups of organic frozen corn)
4 cups vegetable broth (or organic chicken broth)
¼ cup white wine
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (at least 30 minutes)
1. Husk the ears of corn and rinse them off. Cut off corn kernels, slicing downwards and getting as close to the core as possible.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add golden paste, cumin and cayenne and cook for about a minute, until the mixture is fragrant. Add onions and salt, and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and ginger. Next, add in the white wine before the pan gets dry.
3. Add corn kernels to the pot and stir to coat with spices. Cook for 5 minutes then add the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the corn is bright yellow and sweet, about 5 minutes. Add in the maple syrup and nutmeg.
4. When the corn is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the soup to a blender. Add soaked and rinsed cashews. Blend on high until completely smooth. Add a small amount of water to thin the soup, if desired. Season to taste, adding in the lime juice. Return soup to the pot to keep warm if necessary. Serve with cilantro and lots of fresh black pepper.