Although I have made several vegetarian versions of this chowder for our team lunches at Omni:us; usually with copious amounts of cream butter, and often cheese; I’ve never attempted a vegan version until now. It’s always nice to know that a recipe in my culinary canon can be easily adapted for vegans. And with more people switching to a plant-based diet or at the very minimum consuming fewer animal products, the scale is tipping and more people willing to try vegan substitutes.
But, should you not be inclined to make this simply on the basis that it is vegan, then simply replace the vegan butter for real butter and substitute the plant-based milk for full-fat milk or better yet, cream. And while you’re at it, add to it a cup or two of a grated, nice, sharp cheddar.
Vegan Potato & Corn Chowder
makes about 6-8 servings
4 ounces vegan butter (125 grams)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, medium diced
water to cover the potatoes, about 4 cups (1 later)
½ teaspoon powdered turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 small bay leaves
3 pounds (1.5 kilogram) potatoes, well washed and cut into ½ inch (2 cm) chunks
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (cashew, oat or pea)
2 cups frozen or canned corn kernels
In a 6 quart soup pot, add the olive oil and vegan butter over medium heat.
Once the butter has melted and started to sizzle in the pot, add the onions along with 2 teaspoons sea salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir the onions regularly and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Then, add the potatoes to the pot along with the turmeric, cayenne, and thyme. Stir once more, then add just enough water to cover the potatoes, about 1 – 1½ liters (4-6 cups). Toss in the bay leaves and turn the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and partly cover the pot, by tilting the lid along its edge. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Then, in a small mixing vessel, whisk together the corn starch and plant-based milk, being certain to beat out any of the lumps. Add the milk mixture to the soup as well as the corn kernels and stir. Reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to a simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Check for seasonings and add additional salt if necessary. Potatoes often need a lot of salt, so you may need to add as much as and additional ½ teaspoon. Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the heat source and allow the soup to cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes) before serving. Serve warm.
Consider adding a vegan cheese to the soup or nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor.