Sunday, August 2, 2009

Corn Chowder

(pictured: corn chowder with imitation bacon bits and chives)

One of the recipes from cooking class this past week was Maryland corn chowder. The recipe we learned had all the traditional elements (milk, butter, bacon........ugh). I decided to make a recipe that we could enjoy without the guilt, or the negative health impact. I also decided to take the flavor in a slightly different direction.

This soup differs from the original by the inclusion of the poblano, saffron and oregano and the elimination of a number of animal products. The texture of this soup is somehow richer than the original, which I can’t quite explain since the original used butter and whole milk. I like the complexity that the saffron adds to the dish. I also used a variety of potatoes (Yukon Gold, Red Bliss and Peruvian Purple) for additional interest. This soup was well received at dinner tonight by vegans and omnivores alike.

Corn Chowder
Serves 4 as a main dish


1 teaspoon of canola oil
1 red onion, finely minced
1 red bell pepper, finely minced
1 poblano, finely minced
6 cups of almond milk, unsweetened
5 ears of corn, kernels removed (cobs reserved for the stock)
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon of oregano, dried
1 pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1 pound of potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces (I used a variety of potatoes)
1 tablespoon of vegan bacon bits - optional
2 tablespoons of fresh minced herbs (parsley, cilantro, chive or thyme) - optional


Sauté the onion, bell pepper and poblano pepper in the canola oil until soft. Add the almond milk, broken corncobs, bay leaves, oregano and saffron to the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add the potatoes 15 minutes before you want to serve the soup. Add the reserved corn kernels a few minutes before serving so that they can warm through. Remove the corncobs and bay leaves just before serving.

Serve hot with vegan bacon bits and fresh minced herbs on top.

Nutritional Information (without the optional ingredients):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 276.75
Calories From Fat (22%) - 60.81

Total Fat - 6.73g
Saturated Fat - 0.24g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 238.01mg
Potassium - 1234.58mg
Total Carbohydrates - 50.51g
Fiber - 7.29g
Sugar - 2.11g
Protein - 7.87g


This soup tastes much richer than what we are accustomed to eating. If you are looking for a special occasion soup this one is good enough for company. My omnivore parents volunteered that I could make this for a weekend dinner again soon. I think that just about says everything. Even the meat and potato eaters liked this vegan soup. Will wonders never cease?

The only change I would make if you want to take this soup over the top would be a little drizzle of unfiltered extra virgin olive oil when you serve.

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