What's the difference between a soup and a chowder? I always thought a chowder was just a chunky soup, but there are some chunky soups that I would never call a chowder (I've never heard of minestrone chowder), so... who knows. I'm definitely going to call this a chowder though, since it means I can sing 'chowdaaaaah' while I'm prancing round the kitchen.
(and now the word 'chowder' has lost all meaning)
Corn chowder is one of my favourite soups - I go a bit mad for sweetcorn (there was a time when I probably had it in about 80% of my meals, it's great mixed in to just about anything), and you can't beat a thick, comforting soup. After a surprisingly lovely summer, the weather is starting to cool off here, so my mind is beginning to stray away from cold salads and fresh summer vegetables, and towards warming soups - and corn chowder is top of my list.
Corn chowder is often packed with dairy to give the beautiful creaminess, but I decided to make a vegan corn chowder by using coconut milk instead. It adds a very slight hint of sweetness, and together with the very slight hint of spice, it makes for a wonderful combination of flavours.
The creaminess is also added to by partially blending the corn - just enough for it to break down and make the soup nice and thick. I also left some of the vegetables whole though, since I think it adds a more interesting texture. It's up to you - if you prefer a smooth soup then blend the whole lot! But you might need to call it coconut corn soup instead of coconut corn chowder (...did we decide that was the difference? I have no idea).
By the way, yes that is naan bread - not the usual accompaniment to corn chowder, but it worked really well! Gotta love using up random leftovers in successful ways!
Creamy coconut corn chowder
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 stick celery finely diced
- 1 mild red chilli finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- 300 g corn kernels I used tinned
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 4 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion, garlic, celery and red chilli. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the chilli powder and corn, and cook for a further minute or two before pouring in the vegetable stock.
- Use an immersion blender to roughly blend the soup - it's best if you leave some parts chunky. Add the coconut milk, and bring to a gentle simmer. When the soup is piping hot, serve it with plenty of fresh parsley.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.