I love soup. Now that the weather is getting cooler I feel like it’s more appropriate for hearty, rich soups that warm your insides and cheer you up. This chowder tastes hearty and rich, but there is no cream in it. It’s chowder without the dairy – fun times for my lactose-intolerant friends, and those of us who have committed to a no/low-dairy diet.
The first time I made this soup I left a pot of it to cool on the stove while Daddy and I went for a walk. Mommy came home and enjoyed it thoroughly for lunch. The second time I made it we fed it to Tanpo – and even HE liked it!! VICTORY. Score one for me. Normally, Tanpo does not favor my creations, not since that PBJ sammy he let me make for him eons ago. He swallowed the whole thing (it took like, 45 minutes) and he looked like he was chewing sawdust the whole time, but he ate away at it because it was one of the first times I had made anything outside of OT (they have kitchens for you to practice in), and he was proud that his baby had made him something to eat.
He is no longer so easily coaxed into consuming something that might turn out not to his taste. My kitchen mobility skills have progressed, and we live with Mommy – so he knows where the good chow really comes from. But he liked it!! I was thrilled. And I can’t wait to make it for E&R&Co. the next time I see them.
- I used my Vitamix to puree the base for 90 seconds. It was velvety and creamy after this. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, make this anyway. The first time I did this I pureed the base only for a few seconds – (my bad). It was smooth enough to still be delicious, but just a little grainy. We still devoured the entire batch, and it was a big batch. So even if your blender (I would even try an immersion blender, too) doesn’t get this soup super- smooth, it’s still a winner.
- If you want to make this vegan, try subbing veggie stock and just eliminate the chicken/clams/bacon.
- I used primarily frozen veggies (my cauliflower was some leftover florets frozen in a Ziploc), which adds to the easy-peasiness of this soup. Feel free to use fresh, though – go with whatever you’ve got on hand.
Roasted Veggie Chowder with Chicken or Clams [Dairy Free]
Preheat oven to 400, get two pans out for roasting veggies, and put a large soup pot on the stove. These measurements are flexible – I’m just giving you the amounts I used, and I got a BIG pot. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that.
Roasting pan 1: “Creamy” Base
- ½ of a medium-large or 1 small whole head of cauliflower, in florets
- ½ of a 16 oz block of firm tofu, sliced
- ½ c pearl onions (I used frozen) or ¼-1/2 fresh onion
- 2-3 whole cloves of garlic
- oil, salt and pepper for roasting
- 3 c chicken stock + 1 c water (if making chicken chowder), or 1 small can of chicken stock + 1 can of water (if making clam chowder)
Roasting pan 2: Veggie Add-Ins
- 1 c corn
- 1 c carrots
- 3-4 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- oil, salt, and pepper for roasting
For the Pot:
- 4 slices of leftover bacon (or you could cook fresh), torn into little bits
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken (I used the remnants left over from a bird from Sam’s Club) or 2 small cans of clams and their juice.
Roast Pan 1 (Cauliflower, tofu, onions and garlic) for 30 minutes at 400. Once Pan 1 is safely in the oven, crisp the bacon in the bottom of your dry soup pan.
When Pan 1 is finished, pop Pan 2 (the rest of the veggies you’re NOT going to puree) in the oven for 30 minutes at 400. As soon as you’re comfortable enough to handle the hot cauliflower etc. puree the contents of Pan 1 along with the stock/water. (I used the Vitamix’s highest setting – the scary one – for 90 seconds.) Pour this creamy soup base into your pot over the bacon, and bring to a simmer. Add your chicken or the clams + juice. When Pan 2 is done, add those veggies in, too. Simmer and enjoy!