Nothing beat a steaming bowl of soup on a cold day. Our newest recipe is a beautiful, sweet, satisfying corn chowder, which just happens to be vegan. The natural sugars in corn, carrots, and coconut allow you to dip into some sultry spices like cumin, white pepper, and green chilies while keeping in balance. It’s a great recipe for kids to develop a taste for spices without overwhelming their delicate (and sometimes picky) pallets. My boys lapped it up and asked for more!
Best yet, these ingredients are found in most well-stocked pantries, so you don’t have to brave the roads on a blustery day just to get some soup. It’s a quick soup and can be made in 20-30 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Comfy Corn Chowder
1 pound bag of frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
1 large onion, diced to the size of corn kernels
2 carrots, peeled and diced to the size of corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t cumin
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t white pepper
1/2 can coconut milk
1 small can of green chilies
zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
1 bay leaf
6 c vegetable stock
1/4 c red pepper diced to the size of corn kernels
1/4 c black beans
1 T minced cilantro
1. Thaw corn in a colander over your sink. Reserve 1/2 c for the garnish.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of coconut or olive oil in a large soup pot over a medium flame. Add the onions and a generous pinch of sea salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and another pinch of salt, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spices, and corn and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until you start to smell the sweetness of the corn. Be sure to stir often to prevent charring. Add the remaining chowder ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Ladle half of your chowder into a blender and blitz. This creates a nice thick, creamy texture. Pour it back in with the remaining chunky soup. Taste and adjust seasonings to your pallet. Mmmmm. Resist the urge to eat without the garnish.
4. For the garnish heat a small skillet over a medium high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil. I used avocado oil because I had it on hand. Use whatever you have (not coconut, it’s too hot). Add the reserved corn and red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring and charring the veggies. When you have a nice color, add the black beans and cilantro. Squirt with a lime and season generously with sea salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and gently spoon the garnish on top. Enjoy!
* You can absolutely substitute fresh chilies, coconut milk, or corn in this recipe if you have those ingredients on hand. It will taste great. This recipe is designed to work with pantry items, but fresh is always best!
* Other wonderful garnishes include avocado, tomato, scallions, salsa, and crushed tortilla chips.
* Crank up the heat by adding more chilies or a dash of hot sauce to the chowder.
* Pair with black bean and avocado quesadillas for a complete south of the border meal!