How to make healthy choices every day

Cashew Corn Chowder with Cilantro Cream

Life is pretty whack-tastic at the moment. That word means crazy.
I don’t think I ever mentioned it, but my love and I bought our first home a few months ago, which was and is, very exciting. While I was away in Canada, he moved all of our stuff to the new apartment (great timing on my part, eh?), meaning that I came back to Denmark to a completely new space. The other thing I know I didn’t mention was that before I left for the summer we started renovating, hoping to be mostly finished before September. Ha. Right.

What are we renovating you ask? Well, of course the kitchen. In fact, we removed an entire bedroom to make way for what will be a brand-spankin’ new food-makin’-space-of-my-dreams. In the meantime, I am living in a construction zone with a bed in it. Nothing has been unpacked because the dust is so thick I am afraid of having to wash everything we own if I do, so boxes remain piled high in every corner. We have very little lighting because there has been no electricity in half of the house, no internet, and only running water in the bathroom sink. I can brush my teeth, at least. Everyone can appreciate that.
So needless to say, it’s been an interesting challenging couple weeks. I am trying to be as patient as possible, but I have never wanted just a simple cup of hot tea so very badly. And I miss making food. A lot.

What does someone who cooks and writes recipes for a living do in this situation like this? Call up a really nice friend, of course. Conveniently, my buddy Natasha was out of town this weekend and in exchange for feeding her fish, I got to play in her kitchen. Whew! Crisis averted. It’s amazing how grounding and relieving it is to get my fingers around a knife and my nose in a pot again.

To further ground myself and deliver some much-needed comfort to my body and soul, I decided to make the first soup of the season – it is September after all! Although all of you lucky people on the other side of the pond are still bathing in 30° sunshine, Denmark is just as I’d expected; a month ahead of the game and already flirting with autumn.

This Cashew Corn Chowder was just what I needed to feel like a normal person again. Its rich and satisfying creaminess soothes even the most wracked nerves. Case in point, Natasha returned from her travels worn out and teetering on flu-y, yet upon eating said chowder, told me that the soup saved her life. Magic chowder? Oh yes, quite possibly.

Classic chowder relies heavily on milk and cream, and perhaps a little butter for extra unctuousness. As yum as that is, if you have never used cashews to replace regular cream or milk in a soup before, I highly recommend it. Even if you are cooking for someone who is on the dairy train, it’s a lovely change of pace and gives a different flavour profile. I included a second little recipe for a cream sauce that uses cilantro, but you could simply use this recipe as inspiration to create any kind of cream sauce! All you have to do is start with soaked cashews (at least 4 hours), throw them in a blender with water, some kind of acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, a little salt, perhaps a sweetener and herbs and spices to suit your dish. I once made a gorgeous saffron cream sauce when I catered a wedding and it was a major hit, even with the traditional meat-and-potato-loving guests. It is unapologetically rich and tastes totally indulgent, meanwhile you’re eating a handful of sprouted nuts and your tongue is none the wiser.

The other superstar ingredient in this soup is turmeric. Turmeric is the boss. Its powerful golden pigment, called curcumin is what gives most curry powders and ballpark mustard its distinctive yellow colour. Aside from making everything it touches turn to gold (I mean this quite literally – wooden spoons and white countertops beware), this curcumin has been shown to be incredibly anti-inflammatory, comparable to the effects of hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone. Unlike these potent drugs however, curcumin produces no toxicity, and is safe to eat every day. I add turmeric to many foods, including curries of course, but also to warm drinks in the winter, smoothies, dressings and dips. Its flavour is nothing to write home about, making it conveniently neutral enough to sprinkle on many dishes. Slightly bitter with hints of mustard, turmeric pairs best with savory dishes, although as I mentioned above, a little pinch in a berry smoothie is surprisingly tasty.

Cashew Corn Chowder with Cilantro Cream
Serves 4
1 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
2 medium yellow onions
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
cayenne to taste
3 ears fresh corn
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (4 hours minimum)

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add turmeric, cumin and cayenne and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add onions and salt, and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic. If the bottom of the pot becomes dry, add a little broth instead of oil to moisten things up.
2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, husk the cobs of corn. Cut off the kernels by standing the corn on one end and slicing downwards. 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. During this time, make the cilantro cream (see recipe below)
3. Once the corn is cooked, remove pot from heat and transfer the soup to a blender, reserving a few tablespoons of the whole corn kernels for garnish. Add soaked and rinsed cashews. Blend on high until completely smooth. Add water to thin, if desired. Season to taste. Return soup to the pot to keep warm if necessary. Serve with cilantro cream, a drizzle of olive oil, a few kernels of corn and plenty of cracked black pepper.

Cilantro Cream
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (4 hours minimum)
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 cup cilantro (leaves only, loosely packed)
½ cup water
1 Tbsp. raw honey (or agave)
1 tsp. sea salt
pinch cayenne, if desired
½ small clove garlic, if desired

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Season to taste. Store leftovers in a sealed glass container.

Shot nerves and waning patience aside, I have visions of eating another bowl of soup, fueling me with enough mental strength to create a Facebook album entitled: “A cook builds a kitchen”, or something to that effect. Aren’t you excited? It sure is thrilling stuff I tell ya, however dusty and inconvenient the situation seems now. That first hot cup of tea is going to be the finest I’ve ever made.
Stay tuned friends.

Much love and sawdust,
Sarah B.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

87 thoughts on “Cashew Corn Chowder with Cilantro Cream”

  • If you want to know which nootropics have the best chance of boosting brain function, and which are probably duds, then you want to read this article. This article is about Liftmode’s Nootropics brain boosters …

  • I’ve made this twice. I hated the cooking experience with a regular blender but it was a piece of cake with my new immersion blender. I’ll be making it much more often now. Big fan of tumeric, cumin and cilantro.

  • Really thanks for sharing this information with us. I am waiting for this amazing recipe. I’m really excited to try it out. Thank you so much.

  • Thanks for sharing this post. really those post have good stuff, i read this post i knew that this service make very easy to move one place to another place.

  • Oh. My. Stars. I made the cilantro cream sauce (I added a fresh piece of jalapeño and garlic) and it about brought me to tears. Happy tears. I haven’t even made the soup yet. For a girl who misses her creams after a health scare, I can honestly say this is even BETTER than those sauces. Thank you SO much for your wonderful, encouraging blog.

  • Wonderful recepie, I had come to know about your blog from my friend shaik , Lucknow,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i’m already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards.

  • Made this last night! Soo delicious. My husband commented, “I could eat this everyday.” 🙂
    Thank you. It’s a keeper!

  • I just made this – SO GOOD!! I have a sick friend I was making it for and it totally hit the spot! Don’t forget the olive oil drizzle at the end – it really adds quite the finishing touch of flavour!

  • Hi Sarah,
    Just a quick hello from Montreal! I’ve recently started to cook your recipes. Made the coziest banana bread, the poppy seed-crusted butternut squash with kale and pomegranate and yesterday this amazing soup. Wow. And now I plan to make – or try to – all your recipes! They are so delicious, incredibly healthy and tasty. I think I’ll turn vegetarian, seriously. Ha. You truly inspire me to eat healthier every day, thank you for your yummy recipes. Your blog is amazing. x

  • I am new to My New Roots and you honestly changed my life. I knew I was ready to make a change with how I looked at and prepared food, but you put me over the edge and really got me going. This chowder is so good, my 3 year old son was eating it out of the blender with a spoon. Yum! And thank you!

  • This is so good, no one believed me that there wasn’t a drop of dairy. Just what’s needed on a cold winter day.

  • This soup was really great – I added some extra lemon into the blender to give it a little zing. So simple and so delicious! Thank you Sarah!

  • Just made this soup…it’s amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your inspirations, Sarah! I continue to love your blog!

  • I just made this as the starter of the Christmas menu for my omnivorous family and people absolutely loved it! My step dad said it made him change his mind on vegan food, he never knew vegan dishes could be so full of flavour. Huuuge success, thanks a lot, Sarah!

  • This was fantastic! I didn’t have any turmeric so I omitted it, it was still super tasty! It definitely tastes just like the dairy-based chowders I used to make. I’m never going back! 🙂

  • I am currently an enthusiastic cook and nutrition student without a kitchen. This soup does sound like just what my soul needs, I am going to find the means to make it this week one way or another. I love the idea of using soaked nuts to ‘cream’ a dish. I can recommend the combination of broccoli, kale and almond cream soup, some much needed green on a grim winter afternoon in London.
    Thank you for sharing Sarah.

  • I used the last breath of beautiful weather here to grill the corn, rather than cook it in the soup and it added another dimension to the already rich and fragrant taste- a smokey roasted-ness that was delicious with the turmeric. It was superb. Further, I will be substituting the soaked cashews for just about every cream sauce I learned in cooking school.

  • Just made this!!! I’m TRYING to save some for tomorrow but I don’t think my willpower is that strong!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  • A few people asked about frozen corn so I wanted to report that I used a little over 3 cups of frozen corn and the soup was fantastic! Also I used a combination of the cooking liquid from some chickpeas and homemade chicken bone broth (that was rich in veggies) in place of the veggie broth, so if you didn’t have any readily available, just about any broth substitution would do. My whole family loved this soup! Thank you for introducing me to the concept of cashew cream, I’d never heard of it before, but I loved it!

  • I made this recipe tonight using the last 3 ears of fresh corn from the season. It was delicious and the cilantro cream was the perfect compliment to the tasty corn chowder!:) I would love to make this again during the cold months here….do you think frozen corn would work as well for this recipe? Thank you so much for sharing:)

  • I made this soup last week and absolutely loved it! Next time I’ll try the cilantro cream. I’m one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap, but I trust you!

  • This soup turned out really tasty. I ended up running the blended corn mixture through a sieve to get a smooth consistency with no pesky corn kernel skins. The star of this post for me was definitely the cilantro cream. What an amazing vegan alternative to sour cream, better than any store bought non-dairy product. I used the remainder of it on baked potatoes and it was delicious.

  • This looks amazing! Does anyone know if it would freeze well? I’ve never tried freezing anything with cashew cream! Also Sarah, do you have a good recipe for a quick veggie broth or would this work with water?
    Thanks for the brilliant recipes

  • Can’t wait to try this chowder recipe! I’ve made cashew spreads before, but never in a soup or with a creamy consistency. I’m excited to try it … my first foray into soaking nuts!

  • simply heaven, soooo heart-warming and perfect for september-dinner in wet the hague! thanks a million+happy rest of the week, you are real gourmet-recipes-angel!

  • Just made this for dinner tonight! I was looking forward to it on our weekly menu and I wasn’t disappointed at all! The only thing I adjusted was I used garam masala instead of cumin…for some reason I was out of CUMIN! I would love to see more recipes like this! Oh my goodness, I cannot wait for leftovers tomorrow!

    Thank you!

  • I love the idea of tumeric in smoothies! I am always trying to figure out ways to add more tumeric to my meals. brilliant as always, you are…

  • I have been using cashews to replace all kinds of dairy – from sour cream to cream cheese! In fact a girl at my gym said she loves cheese so much she should be a mouse but is struggling with weight loss. I told her I serve cashews in place and she seemed interested!

    This soup looks so wonderfully creamy and rich. I can’t wait to try it!

  • I was tempted to eat the corn fresh but it was so worth it to make the soup. comforting and delicious and nutritious feeling and just amazing. thank you! and thank you for sharing this amazing blog. i love it. me and my couchsurfer had a great dinner!

  • This soup sounds incredible! I’ve been trying to slowly eat less dairy, and this sounds like a good place to start. Also, your photographs are gorgeous. I could look at the corn all morning. Beautiful.

  • Made this soup tonight with sweet corn from the farmers market aand it was AMAZING! You will lick the bowl, I promise. Thanks, Sarah! Hang in there with the kitchen reno. Fingers crossed that you post before and after photos, I’m sure it will be spectacular.

  • I just love the way you explain nutrition and flavors, Sarah! You managed to make me want to soak cashews, which I assure you would be a first. I tend to avoid creamy, heavy soups but I could totally justify cashew chowder, right? 🙂

  • This sounds so good! I love using cashew cream! I just wish I still had some corn from the farmers market. Your photos and recipes give me inspiration all the time!

  • Thank goodness for friends!

    I’m going to scout out some corn at the market this weekend so I can make this before apples and pumpkins take over all of the market stands. It looks amazing!

    Best of luck with the kitchen renovation! I’m looking forward to hearing about the final result and that first hot cup of tea. xo

  • Loving all you do with cashews! I have ears of corn that I need to use up. I’m making it this week. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with everything. It can be hard but you’ll be in an amazing space in no time and it will all be worth it.

  • Thank you, Sarah! You just kick started my September.
    When reading your post this morning I decided to start to soup season. So arriving home after work I was in lack of 4 hours to soak…
    But along came tofu – and yes tofu did the wonder. It made both the soup and the cream (made with basil by the way) very creamy and delicious. Mmm…!
    So all colored up I’m ready to head for a fall full of taste and inner warmth.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I completely understand about the craziness that is home renovating. We bought a small house about 1.5yrs ago and are still going strong. The first thing to “go” was our kitchen. We wiped it clean and started from scratch. We just did the same to our front porch. It kind of never ends and it always takes about double the time [and money!] you think…but…it is so worth it in the end and has made me appreciate our house so much more. Good luck!! This soup looks, well, fantastic. Gorgeous color!

  • WOW wee!! I’ve been so eager to cook a chowder with the corn we still have in Lisbon, but I was also not wanting a heavy creamy thing. Great, Sarah to the rescue! Love it!! Thanks a million!! xxxx

  • Fall is without a doubt my favorite season. I love the crisp and fresh air, wearing cozy sweaters and of course all of the wonderful soups one can make. Good luck with the kitchen renovation and hurray for kind friends who let you make guest appearances in thier kitchens.
    And oh yeah, your soup looks awesome!

  • Sarah, having recently moved from Michigan to California and currently residing in an almost-but-not-quite unpacked, and certainly not fully decorated, apartment, I have only the deepest empathy for you. We spent a week without any kitchen utensils or tools save one good knife, a cutting board and a sheet pan as we waited for our belongings to cross the country, and I didn’t like it one bit. So glad you got to escape to a friend’s kitchen!!

  • Hi Sarah. I’m really looking forward to trying this soup. I make a great cashew and zucchini one and all my vegan skeptic friends love it. Can you describe yellow onions another way for me? I’m an Aussie and not familiar with yellow ones. I know red, brown, white, shallots and what we call spring onions.

  • Sarah, I completely agree with Nikole. I have been an avid follower of your wonderful blog for a couple of years now. I have enjoyed every recipe of yours that I have tried and I would love to show my appreciation by making a donation to your site! Otherwise, I am wondering if sprouting the cashews eases with digestion? I don’t recall having trouble with nuts when I was younger, but in the last couple of years I’ve found that if I eat more than a few nuts (of pretty much any kind, it seems, although I think largely tree nuts) I have a sore belly for a few days. 🙁 I wonder if it could have something to do with the fact that I didn’t eat many nuts for a number of years. Is there an enzyme issue such as can occur with diary? (Please excuse my ignorance!) Good luck with your renovations. 🙂

  • This looks amazing! My husband has an aversion to cilantro, are there any other herbs that you can recommend as a substitute that would compliment the flavors? Dill perhaps?

  • This looks really lovely! Coincidentally, I bought a big bag of raw cashews the other day with the intention of inventing dairy free ‘creams’ etc., so I think this recipe is a great way to start.
    Thank you (:

  • For a cook/blogger in transition you certainly throw together a beautiful meal. I love the idea of using soaked cashews as the cream in this corn soup. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can still find some corn here in Zürich so that I can make this before the last warm days of summer disappear.

  • Noms!

    I can not wait to try this. You really are amazing. Everything you make that I have tried to make has been down right amazing. You really took Gluten free to a new level for me. A very serious thanks. I do wish one thing. That you had a donate button on your blog. I would so donate in appreciation for all the work you do posting all of these recipes.

  • Sarah’s friend Natasha here! You guys, for real, this is one of the best soups I have EVER eaten! I normally don’t like to hyperbolize, but this soup is freaky delicious. Sarah, you can borrow my kitchen any damn time you want! XOXXOX

  • This sounds simply amazing! Too bad we’ve eaten all of our corn already…I wonder if frozen corn would work?

    Good luck on moving in — hope you get your kitchen back soon. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *