I came back from Thanksgiving expecting warm seventy degree air and sunshine. Sunshine, I got. Warm air, not so much. With half bags of peas and corn in my freezer, I decided to try a chowder. Toughest part of making a vegan chowder? Making a creamy base, with no cream. My solution was to use just a bit of flour (I was afraid that using too much flour would leave the soup gummy and pasty), along with an almond/sweet potato puree. The result? A thick and creamy chowder, with no cream!
Vegan Roasted Corn (and Pea) Chowder
1 russet potato-cut into small cubes
1 cup carrots-sliced
1 medium red or yellow onion-diced
3-4 cloves of garlic-minced
3 stalks celery-chopped
1 white sweet potato (cooked and mashed; if you cannot find white sweet potato, you can use a yukon gold potato)
1/2 cup raw almonds (soak in water for at least 6 hours)
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
9 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
12 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups unsweetened, unflavored soy (or almond or rice) milk
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen peas
Big bunch cilantro (save stems)
*Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
*Wash sweet potato. Prick with fork, wrap in foil. Bake until soft.
*Add frozen peas and frozen corn to a baking dish, drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil; add salt and pepper. Roast in oven for approx. 45 minutes or until caramelized (turn twice). You can see the older blog post on roasted peas for more detailed instructions.
*Add 2 cups vegetable broth to small saucepan with washed cilantro stems. Heat on low. Chop all veggies.
*Add remaining olive oil to a big stock pot, heat over medium/medium low. Add onion, celery, carrots, russet potatoes, jalapenos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are barely soft (about 20-25 minutes). Add garlic and bay leaf. Continue to cook 5-10 minutes, until garlic is soft. Stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes and turn to low. Add roasted corn and peas. Remove cilantro stems from broth. Add hot broth to pot, add remaining broth, add remaining soy milk. Stir well. Stir in almond/potato/milk mixture to thicken soup. Add cayenne and thyme, add salt/pepper to taste. Let simmer on low 40-50 minutes.