Coconut milk is the luxury that makes a vegan chowder not only possible, but also wonderful. This simple but satisfying soup is hearty with cauliflower, red potatoes, and corn kernels. It's simmered in a fragrant coconut-curry broth full of garlic and ginger for a weeknight-friendly dinner that will chase away those winter blues.
Start the Soup with Coconut
I learned this trick for making Thai-style curries this year, and it's a great technique for this chowder too: Scoop the solidified fat that's on the top of a can of coconut milk and use that to sauté aromatics like ginger, garlic, and curry powder. There's no need to start with oil or any other fat when you already have some right in the can!
After the aromatics are fragrant, add some onion and frozen cauliflower, then blend with the rest of the coconut milk to make the thick, creamy base for the chowder. Finish by simmering more frozen cauliflower, red potatoes, and corn kernels in the chowder, and add a bright pop of flavor at the end with some fresh lime juice.
This soup makes a tasty gluten-free vegan lunch or dinner, and it's satisfying without weighing you down.
Curried Cauliflower Chowder
Makes about 2 quarts; 4 to 6 servings
(13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
minced peeled fresh ginger
medium yellow onion, finely chopped, divided
(12-ounce) bag frozen cauliflower florets, divided
1 1/2 cups
red potato (about 3 medium), diced
soy sauce or tamari
kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
frozen corn kernels
Lime juice, as needed
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Scoop about 6 tablespoons of the thickened coconut cream at the top of can into a large saucepan or small pot; set the rest of the can aside.
Heat the coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add the ginger, garlic, and curry powder, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add half of the onion and half of the cauliflower, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the can of coconut milk and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the saucepan. Transfer to a stand blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan over medium heat.
Add the remaining onion, water, potato, soy sauce or tamari, and 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as needed, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining cauliflower and corn and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes more. Taste and season with salt or lime juice as needed. Serve topped with cilantro if using.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.