Sunday, February 27, 2011

Better Than Your Grandma's Chowder

Massachusetts and New England is known for their Chowders(pronounce Chow-Da here in Mass). More specifically the Clam Chowder. All across New England, but mostly in down the coastline, there are Chowder Festivals celebrating the creamy clam filled soup. I was never  a fan of any type of seafood in my pregan days so Clam Chowder has never been something that excited me or made me feel like I needed to create a vegan version. Corn Chowder on the other hand is awesome. What isn't awesome about a huge bowl of corn and potatoes cooked up into a thick and creamy soup? Especially on a snowy New England day.
Outside my bedroom window this morning
I will admit, I have never made a chowder in my life and when I began creating and cooking this recipe the other night, my intentions weren't really to end up with a chowder-like soup. I don't really know what I was expecting but regardless, the results were fantastic. The idea for this soup came about because one of my friends was pretty sick earlier in the week and I wanted to do something nice for him. Normally I would have made a vegetable soup loaded with fresh veggies but not only is he not vegan, he doesn't like most vegetables. I always tease him that the only ones he eats are corn and potatoes and then it hit me, corn and potatoes in a soup! Technically this probably wouldn't be considered a chowder at all because in addition to it being vegan, I didn't use any vegan cream but the creamy buttery flavor is certainly there. To make the soup creamy I pureed half of it in the Vitamix with a little vegan cream cheese and added a corn starch slurry at the end to thicken it up.

My Vegan Corn Chowda

1 medium onion, finely diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 tblspn olive oil

2 bay leaves

4-5 large potatoes, cubed

enough water or vegetable broth to cover potatoes

3 tbslpn Earth Balance or other vegan margarine

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1/2 tblspn fresh rosemary, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups of corn kernels

1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese

cornstarch slurry - mix a few tblspns of cornstarch with cold water and add to soup and bring to a boil to thick. This is optional, for if you want a thicker soup.

Heat oil in a non-stick pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion and garlic are soft.

Add bay leaves and potatoes, cover with water or veg broth until just covered. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add margarine, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and 1 1/2 cups of the corn. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon take about half of the potatoes and corn and add to Vitamix or food processor with cream cheese and process until smooth. Return to pot.

Add nutritional yeast and remaining corn. At this point if you want the soup thicker, add the cornstarch slurry and bring back to a boil. Otherwise, cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve.


  1. This looks great! I'm going to have to try this recipe out soon! :)

  2. mom is not a corn chowder liker'er,
    on the other hand, this version is AMAZING! When Elizabth was cooking this dish, the house smelled like Thanksgiving ! Intoxicating

  3. MMMMMMM MMMMMM its very tasty and crappy I need it.

  4. This recipe is very testy what looking in the above image. i will try to my self for the eat it.