(Ed. note: this recipe was updated January 2017!)
Corn chowder (or “chowdah”, if you hail from the Northeast!) was my mom’s signature dish. Well, that and cheesecake… but growing up the chowder was my absolute favorite, and when she’d make it, I’d eat at least 2 huge bowls for dinner. Her version had corn and potatoes, just like mine does, but it also had ham and velveeta. My sweet mama has since gone vegetarian so if she were to make it today she’d nix the ham, but it would probably still have that gawdawful, orange, scientific-experiment-gone-horribly-awry velveeta in it. (Updated: The recipe now includes an optional 3 slices of vegan cheddar, just to make the soup a little richer. Still totally delicious without it, though!)
Of course, if you knew my mom you’d also know that she really doesn’t cook anymore- an ironic twist because she now has the most amazing kitchen I’ve ever seen. I suspect she just doesn’t want to get it dirty. But, being the wonderful mom that she is, she’s always willing to let ME get it dirty when I visit 🙂 (Updated: Mom now lives in Denver and she COOKS!)
So this is my homage, if you will, to the corn chowdah of my youth. A healthier, more compassionate version that still makes me want bowl after bowl… and none of the ingredients were created in a lab!
In another healthy twist, I did away with the roux, saving us all some calories, and I got the idea to add more vegetables to it from a “Healthy Vegan Cooking” class I attended at Whole Foods. It’s not as thick as I remember the non-version being, but the blending step does make it nice and creamy. I make this 4-5 times during the winter, and I get away with that heavy rotation because Jason really likes it too. Serve it with some crusty bread or on it’s own- it’s satisfying either way. It also reheats nicely for workday lunches.
Okay! Get out your immersion blender and let’s make some chowder!
- 3 tablespoons earth balance
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups veggie broth, 1 cup water
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped bite-sized
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 12 oz bag frozen corn
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1.5 teaspoons sea salt, more to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2-3 slices vegan cheddar cheese, optional
- Melt earth balance in a soup pot over medium/high heat. Add the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour mixing well with the margarine, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in the broth and water until the roux dissolves, and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and celery, and simmer covered for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the potatoes to be *almost* soft enough.
- Remove from heat and add the corn. Use your immersion blender to blend about half the soup.
- Return to low heat and stir in the milk and salt, and the cheese (if you're using it). Taste and add more S&P to taste.