Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Whole Foods' Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder

I had some of this today from Whole Foods.  Sooooooo yummy!!!! This is a deceptively rich and satisfying vegetarian chowder that can easily be served as a main course. Once you chop all the vegetables (you can use your food processor fitted with the metal blade), the rest is a breeze.

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 large sprig fresh thyme, leaves minced
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
5 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth, divided
5 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, optional but good
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 cups chopped fresh kale (make sure you remove the heavy stems first)
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste (we used just a dash)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a nonreactive large pot (ours was 5 quarts), heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Saute the carrots, onions, celery, red peppers and sweet potatoes about 3 minutes or just until beginning to soften.
Add the thyme and turmeric, combining well with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and 5 cups water or vegetable broth. If using water, add the vegetable base, if desired. Stir well, bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook 20 minutes.
Add the corn, kale, salt and white pepper. Return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Season with cayenne pepper.
Meanwhile in a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cornstarch, the remaining 3/4 cup water or broth and the cashews. Slowly stir this mixture into the simmering soup and continue to simmer, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and serve. The soup can be made several hours or a day ahead. Reheat slowly over medium-low heat. It will also keep well, covered and refrigerated up to 3 days. Makes about 12 cups.

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