If you have a hankering for some rib-sticking corn chowder, this is just the ticket. This vegan version has a southwestern flare, but you can omit the green chili and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) if you prefer it to have more of a New England vibe. Gluten-free and vegan, it fills the need for a warm bowl of comfort on a rainy evening, or, really, any time. This is one of our quarantine recipes because everything in it is shelf-stable, and it’s a vegan Costco recipe because several of the ingredients come from Costco (although of course you can get them elsewhere as well).
One of the things that we like to do is to use the Idaho Spuds cartons of dried hash browns from Costco (although also available on Amazon), rehydrated, for things other than, you know, hash browns. And so we have used them in this recipe to make the chowder even creamier, but you 100% don’t have to do that, you can completely omit them, or you can use instant potato flakes instead (in fact generally instant potato flakes are a great way to increase the creaminess of vegan versions of cream-based soups).
You will need raw cashews for this recipe and, of course, corn. Just about everything else is optional. :~)
Gluten-Free Vegan Southwestern Corn Chowder
2 cups raw cashew pieces (we buy the organic cashews from Costco)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 carton of Idaho Spuds hash browns, rehydrated (optional) (We get these from Costco)
8 cups water (use less water if omitting the Idaho Spuds – see directions)
1/2 can corn, drained
1 – 2 tablespoons diced green chilies
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (we get these from Costco), toasted for a few minutes in the oven until edges are golden brown
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the cashews, the onion powder, the potatoes (if you are using them) and half the water in a blender and blend on high for 3 minutes, or until creamy.
Pour the blended cashew mixture into a pan, put on the stove over medium heat, and add enough additional water until the chowder base is the consistency that you desire.
(NOTE: If you are not using Idaho Spuds or other dehydrated potato shreds, but you do plan to include instant potato flakes, add the instant potato flakes after pouring the blended mixture into the pan, adding more water and the potato flakes until you get the consistency that you want.)
Add the corn and the chilies, and heat until the chowder just starts simmering.
Remove from heat, ladle into bowls, and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
Optional: Garnish with thin tortilla strips or shredded vegan cheese.
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