I'm not a big fan of soups, but I can't say "no" to a creamy vegetable one. A couple of years ago I was hooked on Food Network, browsing their impressive database all day long in search of sensational recipes and spending hours watching some of my favourite chefs in action. After watching Angie Ketterman's Hearty Corn Chowder video, I knew the vegan version would be amazing. Since I didn't have any white potato left, I used sweet potato instead. I loved the addition of chili, lemon juice and cilantro to this recipe to balance the sweetness of the vegetables and give it a little kick. To make it more like a stew, I included leek in this recipe.
Take a break from those smooth creamy soups we're all used to and try this delicious chowder; you won't be disappointed. You can give it a tropical taste by replacing single cream with thick coconut milk.
What you need...
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 red pepper, stems and seeds removed, diced
- 1 can of sweet corn (340g), drained (or use frozen)
- 15 cm (6") leek, white part, cut in 4 lengthwise, then chopped
- 250 ml soya single cream
- 3 cups water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- pinch of red chilli powder (or 1/2 tsp fresh red chili pepper, finely chopped)
- salt, black pepper
- 1/2 lemon
- Heat 1 Tb sunflower oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, potato, pepper, corn and leek and saute for a couple of minutes (if you are using fresh chili pepper, add it now).
- Season with salt and black pepper, add the veggie cube, chili powder and thyme.
- Pour 3 cups of water over the vegetables and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Using caution, blend half of the soup into a smooth cream, small amounts at a time to prevent pressure from building up inside the blender.
- Pour the creamy soup back into the pan, mix and turn the heat off. Add the single cream (or the coconut milk). Allow the chowder to cool down a bit.
- Pour into serving bowls and squeeze half a lemon over. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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Did you know...
Sweet corn is a great source of B vitamins, folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. It contains ferulic acid, a powerful antioxidant that is released through cooking. The longer the corn is cooked, the more it releases this antioxidant. It is particularly rich in thiamine (B1), the "anti-stress" vitamin that strengthens the immune system and is essential for nervous system and heart health. It also promotes increased memory.
Sweet potato is one of the best sources of beta-carotene and vitamins B6 and B5. It is low in calories, contains no saturated fats and cholesterol and is packed with vitamins and minerals: B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc and sodium.
Coriander contains high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C and is best eaten fresh, to make full use of its antioxidant qualities.
Leeks are rich in beta-carotene, B vitamins (especially B6), folate, vitamin C, E and K, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
For red pepper, chili and lemon please read my notes on Ajvar.