As the weather turns colder, I start craving soup. I love the comfort that a hot bowl of soup provides, like a tasty hug that warms you from the inside. And having an abundance of corn, a creamy & hearty corn chowder seemed like a delicious way to use up some of that seasonal gold.
Chowder traditionally involves a lot of milk or heavy cream, which are definitely not vegan ingredients. When I make vegan cream soups, I like to use a combination of cashews and either cauliflower or potatoes, depending on what’s on sale. But here, cauliflower was a nice change since I wanted to have chunks of potato in the soup. The combination of veggies and cashews creates the perfect consistency for soup, provides an extra hit of veggies and keeps the fat content lower than if you’d used the nuts on their own. Use hulled sunflower or hemp seeds for a nut-free version.
The other necessary ingredients for this chowder are potatoes, leeks, and of course the corn. I chose leeks for their texture, but onions could be easily substituted. I used white potatoes because I had them on hand, but any will do. Use any kind of corn you have, it doesn’t have to be grilled. But I have to admit, the grilled corn adds an extra level of serious flavour, so give it a shot if you have an opportunity.
One more thing; those dark green leafy tops might be too chewy to put in soup, but they make a great addition to homemade vegetable stock. If you haven’t already developed this great habit of using scraps, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on my method.
Do you love corn chowder? How do you love to eat corn? Let me know in the comments.
Creamy Corn and Leek Chowdah
- 3 leeks sliced into thin rings, dark green tops removed (1 & 1/2
- 3` potatoes diced into 1 cm cubes (about 2 cups)
- 4 ears corn removed from cob (or 3 &1/2 cups)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 3-4 tbsp oil or water
- Cauliflower Cream see below
- salt & pepper to taste
For Cauliflower Cream
- 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight or in boiling water 1 hr
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
Steam cauliflower until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
In a high-speed blender, combine cashews and cauliflower with vegetable broth, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Saute leeks with vegetable oil or water in a stock pot until tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes and broth, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20-30 minutes.
Add corn and cauliflower cream, and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately
NUT FREE: Sub same amount of well-rinsed sunflower or hemp seeds instead of cashews.