According to groundhog Phil, we're expecting six more weeks of dreadful winter. For the last few months, I have been making soups almost everyday. There is nothing comforting like a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day.
Here is a recipe for stick-to-your-ribs vegan "chowder." The secret to this thick and creamy soup is using a base made with sweet corn. Partially blending the finished soup also gives the soup a nice rich consistency without the use of cream.
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1/2 to 1 cup of water or vegetable broth
2 15-oz cans of chickpeas or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas (rinse beans if using canned)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
8 oz frozen corn, thawed (about 1 cup)
4 cups water or vegetable broth
2 TBS chickpea miso
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
sprinkle of smokey paprika (optional)
chopped parsley for garnish
Place olive oil and garlic in a soup pot. Set the flame to low and slowly saute the garlic. When it starts to sizzle a bit, add onion. Turn up the flame to medium high and let it cook until it begins to brown and caramelize. Add some more water if the onion starts to stick to the pot.
Layer butternut squash, chickpeas and celery on top and add 1/2 cup of water (or vegetable broth). Place a lid and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the squash pieces become soft.While the veggie/chickpea mixture is cooking, prepare the base for the soup. Place corn, water (or vegetable broth) and sweet white miso in a blender and process until it becomes smooth.
Pour this into the soup pot with vegetables/chickpeas. Stir in nutritional yeast, thyme, celery seed and salt. If you'd like to make the consistency of the soup creamier and richer, take about 1/3 of the soup and blend until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.)
Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and sprinkle some black pepper and smokey paprika and garnish with chopped parsley.