When people say “chowder,” they usually mean the creamy stuff with clams floating in it and a slick of briney oil on the surface…the kind of chowderthat you can get in Boston. And when people say “corn chowder,” they usually mean a corny, creamier version of chowder, without the seafood. Instead of relying on cashew or another thickener to imitate cream, this vegan chowder uses the starchiness of the corn itself. When you purée fresh, sweet corn, it creates a thick, starchy, almost buttery liquid that tastes like pure gold. And to top it off, it makes the chowder luscious and satisfying without weighing down all the fresh ingredients.
Fresh Summer Corn Chowder [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup potatoes, diced (1 large or 3 small)
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced (1/2 small)
- 3/4 cup carrots, sliced in small coins (2 medium/large)
- 3 cups fresh corn (about 5 ears)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 dried chili pepper, or a pinch of chili flakes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Optional toppings: fresh chopped spinach, fresh cilantro or parsley, fresh sliced peppers, diced avocado
- In a heavy-bottomed two-quart pot, heat a few tablespoons of the vegetable broth until simmering. Add garlic and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. (If the broth evaporates, add more a little at a time.)
- Add the potatoes, paprika, cumin, and chili pepper, and all of the broth. Put on a lid and bring to a simmer. After five minutes, add the carrots, and cook for another five minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, purée 1 cup of the fresh corn.
- Back in the pot, test the potatoes and carrots to make sure they’re tender. (If not, cook a little longer.)
- Add the corn and corn purée and stir until combined, then return to a simmer. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve.
- Optional: garnish with toppings