Dairy-Free Corn Chowder

Corn ChowderComfort food is different for everyone. A couple of months ago, my cousin posted a picture on Instagram of her Corn Chowder. Then it hit me, I had not made it in a long time. Probably because it is a cream based soup and I avoid cannot have dairy. I decided I wanted corn chowder and the lack of dairy was not going to stop me.

If you have not had corn chowder before, think New England clam chowder. Sometimes I think, where’s the clams, when I eat it. It is always a great thing to make a big pot of to have leftovers for later, which is how I cooked when I was in college and living on my own. I would not have to cook for days.

As this publishes, I am on my way to a small family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. While my cousin will not be there, her mom will be and I love her to death. She’s like a big sister, auntie, and mother all rolled into one.

I made this soup with several different coconut milk/creamer combinations. I am confident that it will also work with MimicCreme. I also added Butternut or Delicata squash in several of the experiments to up the vegetable factor. This is purely optional. I also went back and forth between fresh corn off the cob and canned corn. It tasted better with the fresh corn, but most people use canned corn which works just as well.

Corn Chowder – serves 4-6

2 ears corn, kernels removed, cob reserved OR 2 cans sweet corn OR 1 can sweet corn and 1 can creamed corn (do not drain the canned corn)

1 large leek OR 2 medium leeks OR 3 small leeks, quartered and sliced

12 ounces bacon chopped

2 Russet potatoes OR 1 pound gold/red/blue potatoes, diced

2 cups diced Butternut or Delicata squash (optional)

1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Salt to taste

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

1 pint So Delicious coconut creamer and 11 oz. So Delicious Culinary coconut milk OR 2 pints So Delicious coconut creamer OR 1 pint So Delicious coconut creamer and 1 can light coconut milk

Heat a large pot over medium and add bacon. Stir until the bacon sweats. Stir in leeks and let cook for about five minutes. Add corn, potatoes, and squash (if using). If using canned corn, include the liquid. Add salt and white pepper and stir well. Cook for one minute. Add coconut creamer and milk. Lower heat and simmer for an hour until potatoes are cooked through.

Portuguese Bean Soup

I do not like cold weather. I do not like being cold. I do not like my hands feeling like blocks of ice. I do not like Old Man Winter.

It snowed the other day and not all the leaves here have turned and fallen off the trees/bushes. It was an odd sight to see snow blanketing red and green leaves on the trees. A much different sight from snow on pine needles. I could not tell what season it was. The temperature told me one thing while my eyes were just confused.

The only upside to cold weather is being in the mood for foods that really warm me from the inside, which I need in order to stay warm. Layers of clothes do not help much when my hands are still exposed. Wearing gloves while working around the house is not feasible. I even tried getting a pair of cheap gloves and cutting the fingertips off. Just my fingertips being exposed kept my hands and the rest of me cold.

Portuguese Bean Soup is a comfort food from back home. I had some Portuguese sausage in the freezer and I was trying to figure out what to make to use it up. Soup! Duh!

I realize Portuguese sausage may not be available in your area. I was thrilled to find it in Jungle Jim’s, but they do not always have it in stock. You can use chorizo or andouille in its place. I also use dried beans and I do not soak them. Boil them for about an hour before using them in the soup and they will be done by the time the soup is done. If you want to use canned beans, you can.

This filled up my dutch oven and I had lots of leftovers.

Portuguese Bean Soup

20-24 ounces Portuguese Sausage (or chorizo or andouille), sliced (or halved/quartered and sliced)

1 onion, chopped

1 head cabbage, chopped

1 cup dried kidney beans, boiled for 1 and drained

28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

water

chili flakes

salt

Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot on medium. Add sausage and onion. Cook until both are sweating. Add cabbage, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, and salt and chili flakes to taste. Stir well then add water just until ingredients are covered. Lower the heat then cover and simmer for at least an hour.