Coming up with recipes is one of the most exciting creative processes for me. It brings me joy when I am able to execute a flavorful dish just the way that I imagined it, without relying on written instructions, but rather on my own intuition and imagination. And let me tell you, ANYONE has that power. All it takes is a sincere appreciation for real food and some good home cooking. (Pretend I said the latter in a southern accent btw).
I came up with this idea as I was coming home from work and I was struck by the sensation to cook. But I knew that I did not want to spend hours cooking, then cleaning dishes; and let’s not forget having to go grocery shopping because you realize you did not have the ingredients in the first place. I wanted a recipe that can be prepared quickly without neglecting the comfort and good feeling we all want in home cooked meals.
And this recipe is a great demonstration of that. It’s simple but real and flavorful, with affordable, accessible vegetables as the main components.
The basic ingredients coming into this recipe are onions, garlic, russet potatoes, and corn. And quoting from the Barefoot Contessa herself, “HOW EASY IS THAT?!” But that is what is so wonderful about this recipe. Simplicity makes for a great result.
I started off by sautéing two small chopped yellow onions with 3 tbs of olive oil until they started to become caramelized and transparent. After that I added two minced cloves of garlic and the russet potatoes that I cubed for easier cooking. Once they were all mixed in, I added water until enough was able to cover the mixture. This might be perhaps the part to really eyeball since you don’t want just enough water to make it too thick, but also not so much to make it too watery. So my apologies for not measuring. I have never been too much of a measurer!
Once the pot started to boil, I added 1 bag of organic frozen corn, 1 cup of Bragg’s amino acids, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder and black pepper to taste and let the pot boil at medium heat for 15 minutes or just until the potatoes were tender enough to puree.
When the potatoes reached that point, I turned the heat to low, and with an immersion blender created a creamy consistency while still keeping some potatoes and corn intact. At this point, I added 2 tsp of tumeric powder and ¾ cups of nutritional yeast. The tumeric adds for great color while the yeast provides an even more nutrition, and needless to say a cheesy flavor.
But of course you cannot have a chowder without cream, right?
Which is why I would say the most indispensable ingredient in this recipe is coconut milk. Adding 1 can of coconut milk really changes what this recipe is. It gives a very subtle coconut flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly, and the creaminess for a chowder to be a chowder.
I am very satisfied with the results of this soup. Sometimes creating recipes is actually an art form. Sometimes when I envision a dish, and the final result is not what I hoped for, I get so frustrated I lose all passion. I have even thrown some out. But trust me! It will not be the case with this one. It is so well flavored and accented by the spices, you will most likely ask for seconds. Make it for a special occasion and everyone will enjoy.
Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
2 small Yellow Onions, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 large Russet Potatoes
1 bag Frozen corn
About 8-10 cups of water
1 cup of Amino Acids, to taste
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Black Pepper, to taste
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
¾ cup Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Tumeric Powder
1 can Cononut Milk, classic or light
Chopped Cilantro and red pepper for garnish
1. Start by sauteing onions with the oil, then add garlic and potatoes.
2. Add water and heat to boiling, add frozen corn, Bragg’s amino acids, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and black pepper until potatoes are tender.
3. Add coconut milk, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, then blend with an immersion blender, leaving some potatoes and corn pieces in tact. Garnish with cilantro and tomatoes and serve warm!
More cozy dishes: Comforting Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
Photo: JD Toro