Sunday, June 5, 2016

Creole Corn Chowder: Smoky, Spicy and Creamy (& Vegan) Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Whether or not you believe in a soup is good all year round philosophy like I do, I think it is hard to argue that no soup says summer more than a bowl of fresh corn chowder. Thanks to the beauty of frozen corn, you can have corn chowder in any season, but when fresh corn is available, those sweet crisp kernels make corn chowder sublime--it's a great way to officially welcome summer. 

Much as I vow not to walk by the Costco book table, it is right there, calling to me like a siren. This past trip there were several stacks of vegan cookbooks and But I Could Never Go Vegan! by food blogger (Keepin' It Kind) Kristy Turner, caught my eye. Although I am not a vegan (and don't like to label the way I eat anyway), I do eat a mostly plant-strong diet most of the time and I love to find and develop vegan recipes that are still pleasing to my meat-eating friends and family. This book had several recipes that I wanted to try and first up had to be the Creole Corn Chowder as it looked so creamy and decadent

I made just a couple of small changes to the recipe based on preferences and what I had on hand--noted in red below.  

Turner says, "We all know that the best way to eat corn is straight off the cob, preferably grilled and drenched in vegan butter. The next best way is in corn chowder, preferably the spicy, Creole variety. We don't need loads of heavy cream to make it happen. A combo of cashews, coconut yogurt, non-dairy milk, and potatoes makes the creamiest chowder any side of the Mississippi.

Creole Corn Chowder
Very Slightly Adapted from But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner
(Serves 4 to 6)

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour, water discarded
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes , chopped (I used 2 each Yukon Gold and Red Bliss potatoes)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (I had a small green pepper and used the whole thing)
1 Tbsp diced Anaheim pepper
1 cup water
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups corn kernels--fresh or defrosted frozen, divided 
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk)
3/4 cup plain coconut yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice (I added an extra Tbsp)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
optional garnishes: chopped green onion or chives, hot sauce, oyster crackers

Combine the cashews and broth in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, bell peppers, and Anaheim pepper. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the cashew mixture, water, paprika, oregano, thyme, mustard powder, and cayenne: bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot , leaving the lid open a crack. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking, until potatoes are tender. 

Add 2 cups of the corn, the non-dairy milk, coconut yogurt, lime juice, and liquid smoke. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until mostly smooth but still a little chunky. (Note: Because I like a fairly chunky chowder, I puréed about 3 cups of the soup in my blender and added it back into the pot.) Add the remaining 2 cups of corn, salt, and pepper and remove from the heat. 

Serve hot, topped with the green onions, hot sauce, and oyster crackers, if desired. Leftovers can be chilled in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. 

Notes/Results: This is a really delicious chowder--definitely creamy and nicely spicy, a soup that makes me happy with every spoonful. With the smoked paprika and the liquid smoke, it has that smoked, meaty flavor that adding ham or bacon adds to a non-veg friendly corn chowder, making this vegan version satisfying. If you don't tell anyone that this is a vegan chowder, they wouldn't be able to tell there isn't butter or cream either. I tend to be on the wimpier side of the heat scale so I did not find I needed extra hot sauce--the soup has that pleasant warmth with slight and slow burn rather than an inferno in the mouth which works well for me and you can always offer up hot sauce to anyone that likes the burn. Since I really wanted the chunks of potato (I used red and Yukon gold) and pepper, I just puréed about a third of my soup in the blender and mixed it back in. It also works for my lazy side, since I had used the blender for the cashew mix, it was easier to not drag out and need to wash my immersion blender. ;-) This soup is even better the next day--the corn retains its crispness and the flavors meld even more. I would definitely make it again.

Yep, I'd say I liked it... 

Here's a recap of the delicious dishes from last week's Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays roundup.  

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salad,s or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of some (or all) of the entries the following week. 

(If you are not familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.)

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach made Curtis Stone's Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Soup and says, "I had all the ingredients on hand and the pork chops were getting close to the “use by” date so I cooked them the way the recipe said and then stored in a baggy in the fridge until I was ready to make the soup. I  added it back to the pot when the recipe said to. I was afraid being cold for a few days would make them tough, but they simmered in the soup and  were so tender and yummy. I thought this soup was amazing, but my son thought it was a bit too spicy, so next time I make it I’ll cut back on the red pepper flakes. "

Judee of Gluten-Free A-Z Blog shared 8 Healthy Salads for Entertaining and says, "Salads are a perfect side for a Memorial Day or party or BBQ. These gluten free favorites are sure to please guests who want to eat light,  healthy, gluten free, vegan/ vegetarian or just love salads!. I've rounded up some of my most popular posts that are fast, easy, and delicious still in time to make for the holiday or anytime! My favorites are the Kale and blueberry with orange dressing and the vegan caprese avocado salad."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared her post about making good food choices while traveling or out and about, saying, "This title is misleading....this is a post about making good choices - not just when traveling, but when you are out running errands and need to grab a quick lunch. The junk available for a cheap and fast lunch is overwhelming. Sometimes it's hard to find places to make a healthy choice. Lately we have been grabbing salads when we are out and about. Because I love Deb at Kahakai Kitchen and her Souper Sunday series, I am inspired to share a few good lunches we enjoyed recently and link up this week."

Finally here at Kahakai Kitchen, I have been enjoying this Shaved Fennel Salad with Lemon, Parsley, and Chives from Curtis Stone. Well mostly from Curtis Stone as his website has been down for days and I had to guess at the recipe and amounts. Either way, made with local baby fennel and fresh herbs, this raw salad is crisp and delicious and paired well with the Grilled Tuna with Rémoulade Sauce for a delicious meal.

Thanks to everyone for linking up last week!

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

***Giveaway Reminder***
If you are a book lover I have a Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of 'A House For Happy Mothers' by Amulya Malladi going on right now--open to US and Canada addresses.

Click on this link to see my review and enter! Ends 6/15/16 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I feel totally unhealthy and ashamed but I went ahead and linked up my sammie from CTB! Wow, I need a salad.

    1. No shaming! It's all about balance and your sammie makes my mouth water. Pair it with a salad!

      Thanks for sharing it this week! ;-)

  2. Hello! and good week ! but what good this soup , very tasty and unique ! Congratulations , good week , a hug , Mirta

  3. I'd eat a grilled cheese sandwich! I love salads, soups and sammies!!! Great roundup.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)