Vegetarian Corn Chowder

Vegetarian (or Vegan) Corn Chowder
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of diced carrot
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1/2 cup of diced red bell pepper
  • 8 tablespoons of unbleached white flour
  • 2 cans of (about 15 ounces each) whole kernel corn or 2 pounds frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans of (about 15 ounces each) creamed-style corn
  • 2 cups of whole, low-fat or skim milk or half-and-half, regular soy milk or regular almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional garnishes: Chopped green onions, chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Combine vegetable stock and carrots in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until carrots are barely tender. Cover and set aside.

Next, place a large Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium high heat. Add butter (or dairy-free margarine); when melted, add onion, celery and peppers, sauteing until vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, until it loses raw taste and begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Stirring rapidly, whisk in hot broth and carrots; simmer 7 to 8 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir in whole kernel and creamed corn, then milk. Season to taste with pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and, if needed, salt. Simmer another 7 to 8 minutes, until mixture is piping hot.

Lastly, ladle soup into warmed cups or bowls. Pass chopped green onions and/or cilantro and invite guests to garnish to taste. Serve with crackers or bread sticks.

Source: Recipe from Joe Crea, food and restaurants editor