My Cauliflower Chowder with Vegan Walnut Pesto is absolutely my new favorite soup for the fall. It’s creamy, filling, nutty, and hearty. I made a huge pot the other night thinking I would freeze half of it, but the family had 2-3 bowls each, and scraped that last bowl clean.
You can make the pesto ahead of time, and it will keep for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. It’s perfect because you can get another dinner out of it – a beautiful whole wheat Pesto Penne Pasta perhaps!
1 small head of cauliflower, with outer leaves and stalk removed
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp grape seed oil or 2 tbsp veggie broth
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 stick of celery or 1 leek, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup raw cashews (preferably pre-soaked for a few hours) and/or 1/2 cup silken tofu*
1 tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
*the silken tofu adds a little more protein, but those who are allergic, leave it out.
Steam the cauli and potato until fork tender, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil or veggie broth in a skillet. Saute the onion, garlic, leek/celery and cumin for a few minutes over a low heat until softened.
Place the cauli, potato and onion mixture in a high-speed blender with the broth, cashews, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
When you are ready to eat it, pour it back into the saucepan to heat, or if you have a Vitamix, just keep blending until it’s steamy hot. Season to taste.
Vegan Walnut Pesto
2 cups gently packed fresh basil leaves.
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup Nutrional Yeast
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place in the ingredients in a blender and pulse until walnuts become the almost (but not quite) ground up. I still like tiny chunks of walnut in my pesto, rather than grinding it to a paste.