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This chowder came about because of my husband’s love of the Cajun food he grew up eating in Louisiana. My love for all things creamy and my obsession with potatoes joined together with Cajun spices and veggies for what turned out to be the most comforting chowder I’ve ever eaten. You’ll need to have all your veggies chopped and ready before beginning since the soup cooks fairly fast. Use 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Cajun Spice Seasoning if you’d like less heat.
PREP: 25 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
YIELDS: 6 servings
1⁄2 cup (75g) raw, unsalted cashews
1 packed cup (160g) finely diced yellow onion
1 1⁄2 tablespoons (5g) fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon (2g) dried
2 teaspoons (5g) Cajun Spice Seasoning (below)
3 tablespoons (45g) Dijon mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon (1g) ground black pepper
1 1⁄4 teaspoons (6g) fine salt
4 cups (590g) peeled, chopped Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1⁄2-inch pieces)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces (120g)
1 cup (136g) frozen sweet corn
OPTIONAL: fresh thyme leaves and sprigs for garnish

Step 1

Add the cashews and 1 cup (240g) water to a high-powered blender or food processor (see Note). Blend until completely smooth and creamy. This is your cashew cream.

Step 2

Add the onion and 1⁄2 cup (120g) water to a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook about 8 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion is tender and the water is gone.

Step 3

Add 2 cups (480g) water, the thyme, Cajun Spice Seasoning, mustard, pepper, and salt, and stir well. Stir in the potatoes and carrots. (The mixture will be rather chunky and it won’t seem like there’s enough liquid, but there will be plenty to cook it while covered.) Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender but still firm.

Step 4

Add the cashew cream and corn, and cook on medium-low for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture starts thicken, stirring often. Taste and add more salt or spices, if desired. Garnish with additional fresh thyme, if desired. Serve immediately.

Step 5

Nutrition per serving: 193 calories | 6.6g fat | 5.2g protein | 31.7g carbs | 5.5g fiber |
5.3g sugar | 592mg sodium
NOTE: The key to this chowder is the homemade cashew cream. Do not use store-bought cashew milk or any other milks—it does not work! Trust me on this; it will be watery and gross. If you do not have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, find substitutions. If you are nut free, sub with 1 cup (240g) “lite” canned coconut milk, shaken well. Do not use full-fat, as it is too thick and will make the soup taste like coconut. This is the only milk sub that works!

Step 6

CAJUN SPICE SEASONING: Oil free, Gluten free, Nut free
Many store blends of Cajun seasoning contain additives or salt that I don’t really want, so I came up with this salt-free blend to keep in my pantry. One big benefit of this salt-free version is that you get the same flavors but can control how much sodium goes into your recipes. For a milder blend, decrease the cayenne to 1 1⁄2 teaspoons. This seasoning is featured in a number of my recipes, including Cajun Veggie and Potato Chowder, Creamy Cajun Lemon Sauce, and Time-Saver Cajun Red Beans and Rice.

Step 7

PREP: 5 minutes
YIELDS: 10 tablespoons
3 tablespoons (24g) paprika
2 tablespoons (22g) garlic powder
1 1⁄2 tablespoons (16g) onion powder
1 1⁄2 tablespoons (5g) dried thyme
1 1⁄2 tablespoons (4g ) dried oregano
2 teaspoons (6g) ground black pepper
2 teaspoons (6g) cayenne pepper

Step 8

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl, and whisk very well. Store the blend in a sealed jar for up to 6 months.
Nutrition per tablespoon: 21 calories | 0.5g fat | 0.9g protein | 4.4g carbs | 1.7g fiber |0.4g sugar | 2mg sodium
Excerpted with Permission from The Vegan 8: 100 Simple, Delicious Recipes Made with 8 Ingredients or Less.

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