3 cupscanned or frozen kernels or 4 large ears husked fresh sweet corn; charred if desired
1medium yellow onionchopped
5clovesgarlic minced; more if desired
2jalapeño peppersdiced remove seeds & ribs for mild, leave seeds in to add heat
1cupdiced celery3 - 4 medium stalks
1poundYukon gold potatoesmini or regular; diced, no need to peel
1 & 1/4teaspoonkosher salt more to taste
1/2teaspoonFreshly cracked black peppermore to taste
2limesStir half a limes worth of juice into soup before serving. Serve with extra quartered limes to squeeze on soup; strongly recommended
1/4cupreserved corn kernelsoptional
1/4cupsliced scallions or chivesoptional
1/4cupchopped cilantro or chiffonade basil leavesoptional
10halved grape tomatoesoptional
Boil the cashews in water and then turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water while you measure the spices into a small bowl or ramekin and prep the other ingredients. Drain after 20 to 30 minutes and place the cashews in the blender with the coconut milk, and unfortified nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.
If using fresh corn: hold an ear of corn upright in a large bowl and shave off the kernels with a sharp knife. (If you charred the ears of corn, wait until the corn is cool enough to handle.). Repeat with the remaining ears. Place the kernels in a bowl and reserve 2 TBSPs for garnish. If using canned corn, drain it. If using frozen corn there is no need to thaw it.
Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic & jalapeños and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Then add the carrot and celery with a pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes, tossing frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Select the Cancel setting.
Add the blender mixture, broth, corn kernels, and spices. Stir well to combine.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at Manual High Pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes.
Once the 10-minutes are up and the Instant Pot beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then carefully switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam. I use a silicon oven mitt when I touch the Pressure Release knob.
Open the pot and discard the bay leaves. Squeeze the juice of a 1/2 lime into the soup, stir, and taste for seasonings. Add more lime juice or salt and black pepper as needed. The soup will be very thick, adding additional broth is up to you.
Transfer 3 & 1/2 cups of the soup to a high-speed blender. If desired, add 1/2 cup of additional broth if you want to slightly thin the chowder or if you prefer thinner chowder, add more broth. If you want this to be a bisque you could batch blend all of the chowder, making it all smooth.Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot to blend the soup until pureed and thick, thinning with desired additional broth as you blend.
Transfer the blended soup back into the instant pot and stir. Serve in bowls topping each bowl with lime juice, reserved corn kernels and other garnishes as desired. Store leftovers in fridge for around 5 days.
Nutrition Information is approximate.
When I make this I usually end up adding about 1/2 teaspoon more kosher salt after it's done and I've tasted it. However, it depends on your personal preference, your corn (if it's canned or frozen it may have salt already), cashews (salted or unsalted), and your no-chicken broth (low or full sodium). I recommend using kosher or sea salt, it is about half as salty as table salt so it will be easier to gradually balance the salt level of the chowder.
You can leave the seeds in the jalapeños for a little more kick.
If you've had jalapeño hand or jalapeño any other body part—you know what it is. I once made homemade green curry paste and I didn't wear gloves when I de-ribbed, sliced, and diced the jalepenos.At first, nothing burned. I washed my hands afterward and went about my day. Surprisingly, later on that night, it burned—bad. It burned under my nails, in my cuticles and on my finger tips. My hands were on fire. I spent most of the night soaking my hands in ice water. It was a special kind of hell.Since then I've seen a Seinfeld-esque episode of I'm Sorry with jalapeño hand. It's real, folks. Just know it could happen to anyone. I now wear food prep gloves when I handle jalapeños.
Don't skimp on the lime juice
The lime juice in this soup is the continuity monkey that pulls it all together and takes it to the next level. Skip the lime—miss out on the magic. We squeeze the lime juice onto the chowder right before serving to elevate this delicious chowder. If you add the lime juice while cooking it tend to lose its potency and get lost.
You could use raw or roasted & salted cashews for this recipe. If your cashews are salted be sure to taste the chowder before adding any additional salt to the chowder.I recommend boiling & draining the cashews before blending, but if you have a high speed blender, it's not necessary. However, I do think that boiling adds extra creaminess, which is one of the heavenly things about this chowder.
I strongly recommend finding yourself some vegan no-chicken broths. I much prefer the no-chicken base flavors to regular veggie base flavors. I’ve made things and not liked them because I substituted regular veggie broth instead of my trusted no-chicken varieties. Seeing the word chicken on vegan products tends to fry my brain a little.
Low Sodium No-Chicken Broth
For this recipe, if you can find the No-Chicken Low Sodium kind I recommend it, it's gluten-free. If you can find No-Chicken, but it’s not Low Sodium, that works too; you may want to lower the salt or wait to salt until tasting the soup.
I always use and recommend unfortified nutritional yeast. This adds nice umami and depth of flavor to the soup.The fortified stuff can taste synthetic or vitamin-y. Fortified nutritional yeast can lose potency when stored, so there is no reason to suffer through the artificial taste when there is a chance of not receiving the benefits of the vitamins.If you only have fortified nutritional yeast, start with 1 TBSP and a little at time, or try adding a little to a cup of the soup and tasting to see if the synthetic taste shines through.www.planttestkitchen.com