Sunday, June 12, 2016

Vegan Corn Chowder

Oh I am a bad blogger.  But then again I have lots of excuses, including that this week was chock full of family emergencies, late nights, and no cooking.  No groceries, for that matter.  But yesterday I shopped and cooked myself a big delicious dinner and it was heavenly.  It's the little things, I tell you: knowing your whole family is home safely, making a big pot of soup on a chilly June night, and eating a bowl of it at a freshly-cleaned island counter!

A few weeks ago we spent the weekend at the beach house and went to a food festival in Newburyport.  Everyone had clam chowder, but the vegetarians of the group had corn chowder.  Usually corn chowder is not my favorite soup, but this one was special: it had carrots in it and wasn't super sweet. It had a lot of flavor, the corn was tender and juicy, and I devoured it very quickly!  Then I knew I had to recreate it, and when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, it looked very similar so I bought all the ingredients yesterday.  It was a weirdly cold night so the timing was perfect.

Before you judge this recipe for being vegan, let me explain what it means in this situation.  It means no milk or cream.  That means it's far healthier than your average chowder.  It also means no need to make a roux using flour - there is no flour in this soup, making it gluten free. Surprisingly, there's not even any chicken broth!  The liquid is from coconut milk and water, which get blended with half of your corn and a fourth of the potatoes.  Believe me, this thickens the chowder perfectly without the need of any gluten of dairy.

The flavor, besides from all the veggies (garlic, potatoes, fresh corn, carrots, celery and red pepper) comes from a little cumin, paprika, and Cajun seasoning.  It has a little bite to it, but not too much; it just adds some interest to the broth.

Honestly this was just as good as the chowder I got in Newburyport, if not better.  I ate it with some baguette that I had bought when it was still hot, and it was a delicious meal.  I will quite happily eat the leftovers at work this week.  And yes, I have a full week of work ahead of me, and then another half week.  Summer vacation feels super far away at this point, but this chowder will help me limp my way to the finish line.


vegan corn chowder
from Roasted Root
serves 4-6

4 ears corn, shucked and steamed (I used 5 and put 3 ears worth of kernels into the soup whole)
2 large red potatoes, peeled and chopped (I left mine unpeeled for some more color and texture)
3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 large stalks celery, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 cups water
chopped green onion for serving


1) Place earns of corn in a arge pot and fill with water. Cover pot with a lid and place on the stove over high heat.  Bring to a full boil and cook until corn is plump and juicy, about 5-8 minutes.

2) Use tongs to remove for from boiling water and place on a cutting board.  Take half of one of the red potatoes and place into the same pot of water you use for the corn.  Allow potato to cook until soft, 10-15 minutes.

3) While potato is cooking, saute the rest of the vegetables.  Add coconut oil to a large pot, along with the rest of the potato, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sea salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, and cumin.  Heat to medium-high and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened about 10 minutes.

4) Use a knife to cut the corn kernels off all of the ears of corn.  Place half of the kernels in a blender, along with the cooked potato.  Add the coconut milk and water to the blender and blend until completely smooth.

5) Add the remaining corn kernels to the pot with the sautéed vegetables, and pout the blended corn/potato mixture into the pot.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potato has softened. about 10 - 20 minutes.

6) Remove from heat and taste; add sea salt and Cajun seasoning as desired.  Serve with chopped green onion.

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