Thursday, 14 August 2014

Vegan Potato & Corn Chowder

It has been a loooooong time since I posted anything. Time, motivation, and creativity seem to get sucked into a black hole. Of course life also seems to do nothing but revolve around dogs these days too... but anyhoo... Being sick is a good motivator for finding the perfect comfort food that doesn't require too much effort.

This week I happened to get some kind of man flu. I say it is man flu simply because the way I felt Monday I am sure nobody else has ever felt in the universe and I was obviously dying. Somebody sapped all the energy out of me and gave it to someone else. Muscles ached in places I didn't think there were muscles. Stars exploded and new universes were formed inside my head. Of course, it did not help that I had completed the City to Surf on Sunday while knowing I was sick, but of course being in the early stages of man flu I obviously thought that I was invincible against my normal rational judgement and ran the 14km anyway. At one point while running I thought I was hallucinating when I saw two Wonder Women and four giant bottles of Pure Blond beer jogging past. Possibly aliens as well. Perhaps I had wandered onto the set of the next series of Dr Who? It has since been confirmed I was not hallucinating and these strange things were in fact there and I wasn't going mad. It was all worth it though as I was running to raise funds for Greyhound Rescue

However. Back to the problem of finding a bowl of nourishing comfort food.

Dairy in quantity does nothing good for me. However, there is something about creamy rich food that makes us feel better. This chowder does all of that without all the nasty dairy bits. It is rich and buttery tasting from the almonds, filling, and comforting. If you use crispy eggplant instead of the bacon style slices it is also gluten free!

4 medium waxy potatoes peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 cup diced onion
1 cup soaked almond kernels (husks removed) soaked in 1 litre of water
2 litres of vegetable or vegan chicken style stock powder
1 packet vegan bacon style slices (or crispy chargrilled eggplant works too!)
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch rocket or spinach
pepper to taste
lemon infused EVOO
oil for sauteing

1.Soak the almonds for a couple of hours or simmer for 15 minutes in a litre of water and cool.
2. Put the almonds and their water into the blender and process until very smooth. Kinda like making almond milk but we are using the ground almonds as well.
3. In a  large saucepan saute the onions in a little vegetable oil until soft and then add the corn kernels, diced potato, almond mixture, and stock.
4. Simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes). If it is getting too thick thin it out with a little more stock or water.
5. While the soup is simmering chop up the bacon style slices and fry until crispy. Or fry up some smoky chargrill eggplant pieces instead, and set aside.
6. Take the soup off the heat, stir in a drizzle of lemon oil and pepper to taste, and the fried slices or eggplant.  Toss in rocket and dill, and stir through to wilt.
7. Serve with extra dill or rocket on top, and crusty bread.