Archive | February, 2011

Sub-zero temperatures mean it’s time to make SOUP!

9 Feb

If you live in the Midwest, you know what I’m talking about. This weather is absolutely ridiculous! Today’s high was 13. The low overnight tonight will be -7 and the high tomorrow is 7 with wind chills at -15 to -25. I mean…brrrr!

We’ve also been pounded with a crazy amount of snow in the last month. So far this winter, my kids have had 7 snow days and I’m expecting a snow day or delay tomorrow morning because of the extreme temperature. Every day when I pull into my driveway, I almost cry because I know the piles of snow will be here for a while. I don’t even know if it will melt before May!

On the little side porch on the left, there’s a cafe table and two chairs but you can’t see them because the snow is so deep!

There’s nothing better during weather like this than a steaming hot bowl of soup. Honestly, I could eat soup every single day, but it really hits the spot on bitter cold days like today. Yesterday I decided to veganize one of my favorite soup recipes. The original recipe is my sister’s and it appeared in my mom’s first cookbook, Of Peaches and Pansies. It’s a thick, creamy soup loaded with good stuff — Corn & Potato Chowder. A couple of easy substitutions made this meat free and dairy free, and equally as yummy as the original.

The original recipe called for diced ham. I used vegan bacon (Smart Bacon) because that’s what I had in the freezer. Next time, I’ll try a little vegan sausage. I think it will give more of that smoky, saltiness of ham that works so well with potatoes and corn.

Serve this with a salad and my gluten-free, vegan cornbread muffins (see November 5 post).

Vegan Corn & Potato Chowder
serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 strips vegan bacon or 4 ounces vegan sausage
1 onion, diced
2 cups diced potatoes (peeled)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 can vegan creamed corn (no salt added, if you can find it)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Saute bacon and onions until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, red pepper and thyme and saute for a minute or two.

Add milk and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and soup thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Add cream corn and frozen corn and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired.