Vegan Chowder – Summer in a Bowl
I had thought about using lemon grass when mulling over the market day demo on Friday night, but come Saturday morning, the Flats Mentor Farms who carries it every week just did not have any this weekend.
And so like the New England season that changes on a dime, so must a farm to fork cook!
The foreboding thunderstorm forecast was on all our minds on Saturday morning as we set up at our tents, and a drop in temperature inspired this soup. It’s my vegan homage to the New England classic chowder, with an Asian twist.
This soup can be served warm or cooled for your summer dinners or would make an excellent lunch at work.
Kelly’s Farm had these fresh ears of corn and cherry tomatoes, Flats Mentor Farm had the Thai Basil, for my Asian twist, and Farmer Dave’s was generous with the onions and a sweet kousa squash, similar to the zucchini. And instead of a flour roux or dairy, I was going to use the inside of a fresh baguette from The Bread Shop.
The resulting recipe was like a corn gazpacho when it cooled off. So yum!
I had some customers ask for seconds and thirds, and more so when seasoned older New Englanders really liked this version of everyone’s beloved chow-dah!
Serves Approx. 6
3 ears of corn
1 kousa squash
8-10 cherry tomatoes
8-10 leaves of Thai basil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 inches of baguette
2 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 tbsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
3-4 cups of water
- Clean the corn and remove the kernels off the cob safely in a bowl
- Chop the kousa squash and cherry tomatoes into bite size pieces
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic gloves
- Thinly julienne the Thai basil leaves
- Hollow out the baguette piece and reserve the soft inside for use in the soup
- Heat a 4 quart pan with the olive oil
- Sauté the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, add some salt and pepper
- Add the corn next and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, salting again at each step
- Add the kousa squash and stir another 5-6 minutes
- Remove ½ the vegetables in a bowl and add the bread and sauté for 5 minutes
- Add the cups of water to the pot and using an immersion blender pure the vegetables until almost smooth
- Add the reserved sautéed vegetables back to the pot along with the cherry tomatoes
- Bring the soup to a boil, add the vinegar and adjust any salt and pepper
- Simmer for about 10 minutes and add the Thai basil before serving
- Serve warm or cooled off with crusty bread
I would also recommend serving this in a bread bowl or as appetizer shots with some aged sheep’s milk cheese and croutons for the cheese loving friends, (myself included).