Vegan Mexican Corn Chowder

As I'm completing this post, I'm recovering from some sort of flu that has rendered my taste buds mostly inoperative and my appetite dormant for a few days now. As my body gradually starts to accept food again, I can only tolerate very peppery, intensely seasoned foods. It has always been this way with me when ill. Pepper and spices notwithstanding, a chowder may seem a bit much for a segue into eating again, so perhaps I should note that this chowder is a vegan one. While it is surely more savoury and textured than many regular soups, it's appealing to me because the basis for the creaminess is coconut and only coconut. There is no dairy milk, no flour, just the goodness of the tropical cuisine staple.When added to the seasonings, the coconut heightens the richness of the corn and mushrooms. (I left some unscraped corn in the pot even though I was not quite ready to nibble on it, I figured it would be a treat later on.) Also, I omitted the cheese this time around - albeit vegan cheese - because I didn't feel up to that degree of creaminess . Ordinarily, the cheese goes a long way towards capturing the chowderi-ness. (Yes, I made up that word. Haha!) All in all, this is comfort food, ideal for a cool day or rainy day or when you simply need a hearty meal that's not to heavy but packed with flavour. 

*5 cobs of corn (non gmo)
*3 packs of  shiitake mushrooms
*1 can of coconut milk
*1 can of coconut cream
*3 tbsp of vegan butter 
*1 pack of vegan pepper jack shredded cheese. 
*2 cups of vegetable broth
*1 bunch of cilantro
*3 cloves of garlic, minced
*3 stems of green onions 
*1 large tomato
*8 sprigs of thyme
*6 jalapeño peppers
*8 chili peppers (or as many as preferred)
*2 limes
*1 tbsp of sweet paprika
*3/4 tsp of ground cumin
*salt to taste
*1 1/2 cup of hot water

*Remove husks and bottoms from corn.
*With a sharp knife, remove kernels with juices. Catch in a bowl 
  and set aside for later.
*Dice 3 jalapeño peppers (save others for garnish).
*Roast 4 chili peppers (save others for garnish).
*In a Dutch oven or large pot, add  butter over medium heat. Then add mushrooms, onions and garlic. 
*Add 1/4 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tbsp of sweet paprika. 
*Add 1/2 cup of  vegetable broth.
*Stir gently  and let mixture brown until mushrooms are tender but not totally shriveled. 
*Remove mushrooms and set aside for later.
*Add coconut milk, unscraped corn, cilantro, thyme, green onions and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.
* Cook for 2 mins. 
*Reduce heat to low.
*Add cream style corn, shredded vegan cheese, chilis, diced tomatoes, mushrooms. and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.
Add water as necessary to prevent burning. Cook on low eat with pot covered until cheese is melted and ingredients are mixed nicely. (10 mins approximately)


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