I'm from New England, the land of chowders, which is fortunate, because I absolutely love chowder. Basically, a chowder is a soup which always contains milk, onions and potatoes, and is usually thickened with flour. Most people add seafood, like clams or crab or fish, or ham, but I like corn chowder best! Yes, corn chowder is my most favorite chowder. With all of the nondairy cream and milk available, its easy to make a vegan chowder, and that is what I did. I usually don't thicken my chowders with flour; instead, I mash up some of the potato until it is the consistency that I want. If you want potato soup, add another potato at the beginning and leave out the corn. Simple as that!
Quick Vegan Corn Chowder
4 large potatoes (about 2 lbs), peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
olive oil for sauteeing
1 Tbs veggie broth powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 heaping Tbs salt (I use Adobo Seasoning Salt which adds a slight yellow color and garlic flavor)
generous pinch each of: rosemary, sage and marjoram
2 generous pinches thyme
4 C water
2 C corn kernals
2 C nondairy creamer
1 Tbs non-dairy margerine like Earth Balance
Saute the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes in olive oil until onions are transparent and veggies are starting to soften. Add cayenne, salt, rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme and saute for another minute. Add the broth powder, then pour in the water and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes until all the veggies are very tender. Use a potato masher or a hand-held immersion blender to puree the veggies, giving the soup more body. I prefer to use the potato masher because it leaves a white colored soup with little orange and pale green flecks which is so pretty! Pour in the creamer and the corn, and heat until the corn and soup are piping hot. Adjust seasonings. Serve with a little shaving of margerine on top for added richness.
Chowders lend themselves to endless variations in spicing and ingredients, but sometimes its nice to chow down on a plain old New England classic like corn chowder.