When the autumn rains hit, there’s nothing more comforting than a warming bowl of soup loaded with chunky vegetables (except maybe a long bath followed by stretchy pants), so we’ve been eating this one a lot lately. The timing is perfect, as gardens, larders, and farmers markets are bursting with produce just begging to be featured in a hearty fall meal. Bathed in a thick, creamy broth (the veggies, not me), it’s really more of a stew than a soup.
This non-dairy version of an old classic is as creamy as anything made with actual cream, and friends I’ve made it for have been surprised to discover there’s no cheese involved. I make this with homemade soy milk, but feel free to use unsweetened soy from the store. Coconut beverage (as opposed to canned coconut milk) is another option, but I find that almond and other non-dairy milks are often too thin and not robust enough to attain the richness we’re after. Play around and see what you like.
You can alter the mixed veggies to take advantage of whatever you have on hand – I tend to favour a combination of broccoli, cauliflower, and peas. Tender chunks of potato lend that starchy, chowder-like feel, and make the whole thing feel like a meal in a bowl. Nutritional yeast gives the soup that delicious savoury (almost cheesy) depth of flavour, but leave it out if you don’t have it on hand.
This recipe doubles easily to feed a crowd, or to add a quick weeknight meal to your freezer.
Paired with a thick slice of homemade oatmeal bread, I can’t think of a better way to banish that rainy day chill.
Have a cozy weekend!
Harvest Veggie Chowder
- 4 tbsp non-dairy butter
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup flour (see notes for GF version)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (unsweetened soy preferred)
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 medium potato, diced (do not peel)
- 4 cups chopped mixed vegetables (can use frozen)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onion, and saute for a minute or two until slightly softened. Add celery, and cook for a couple more minutes to soften the vegetables and develop the flavours. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds or so.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables, and stir to incorporate, cooking for about a minute. Slowly add vegetable stock, stirring constantly, followed by the milk. Gradually bring the mixture up to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, add the carrots, potato, mixed vegetables, salt, and nutritional yeast (if using). Return to a simmer.
Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for 35 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
Pulse the finished soup with an immersion blender a few times to break up some of the larger pieces, but leave it fairly chunky. (You can also do this by blending a few cups of the soup in a regular blender, but don't fill it too far, and cover the top with a towel in case the hot liquid sprays out around the lid.)
Add pepper, and taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
You can substitute corn starch for the flour for a gluten-free version by reducing the amount to 3 tablespoons, and whisking it with a bit of cold stock or milk before adding to the pot with the rest of the liquid.