This vegan clam chowder is creamy and flavourful with chunky vegetables and seasoned savoury mushrooms. You won’t need any flour, added oils or packaged vegan soy cream for this recipe, just real ingredients. This hearty vegan soup is just what you need to warm you up and fill you up on a chilly day!
I’ve been trying to come up with a good vegan clam chowder recipe for quite some time now. I’ve tried what some of the other recipes online have to offer and have been generally unsatisfied with the creaminess of the soup base.
Thickening soy milk with flour isn’t that great for creaminess, imo, and with the price of cashews on the rise I can no longer afford to use two cups of them in just one recipe. Not only that but my blender never gets them to a total cream state and always leaves my soup with a grainy consistency.
So I developed this vegan clam chowder as an offshoot of my vegan potato leek soup recipe. That recipe (and this one) uses just half a cup of cashews for creaminess and the rest of the soup base is made up of potatoes and leeks (hence the name, duh).
This combination of white vegetables and cashews makes for a thick and hearty soup without the need for flour as a thickening agent and without breaking the bank on ridiculous tree nut prices.
I’ve been experimenting with using vegetables to make creamy things since this recipe for vegan alfredo sauce. That recipe uses cauliflower and coconut milk and if you go over to that post and watch the video, you can see just how creamy it is!
Although I like the sweetness and extra layer of flavour that the leeks bring to this vegan clam chowder recipe, you could also swap that cauliflower-based alfredo sauce recipe for the soup base in this one if you happen to find yourself with a random cauliflower and a hankering for vegan clam chowder!
So while your veggies are cooking for the creamy soup base, you can fry and season some oyster mushrooms for a meaty, oyster-y texture. I poured over some soy sauce and miso paste for a salty sort of taste of the sea.
You can skip this step if you want to make this recipe gluten free or if you’re lazy, but it gives the soup another interesting layer of flavour and you’ve got time while the veggies are cooking.
Finally, blend up your cream base, soften some chunky vegetables and season with thyme. Combine everything in your pot and squeeze in some lemon juice. Serve with something green for garnish and crumble over some crackers or crusty bread on the side. Get a spoon and dig in!
Vegan Clam Chowder
- 4 leeks thinly sliced and white parts separated from light green parts - $1.15
- 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed - $0.92
- 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable stock divided - $0.90
- 200 grams (7 oz) oyster mushrooms chopped into oyster size - $1.38
- ¾ cup water divided - $0.00
- 1 teaspoon miso paste - $0.11
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce - $0.02
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar - $0.01
- ½ cup (75 grams) cashews soaked overnight or in hot water for at least 15 minutes - $1.60
- 1 stalk of celery diced - $0.60
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme - $0.06
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced - $0.09
- The juice of half a lemon - $0.24
- 1 teaspoon salt - $0.03
- Pepper to taste - $0.03
- Green onion or parsley to garnish - $0.10
- Place the white parts of the leeks, one diced potato and a few splashes of water (you can use oil if you prefer) into a large pan over medium heat and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. Add one cup (240 ml) of the vegetable stock, partially cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are very soft.
- Meanwhile, heat a small pan over high heat and add the mushrooms (you may need to add a splash of water/oil to get them started frying). While they fry, combine ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water with the soy sauce, miso paste and vinegar in a small bowl. When the mushrooms are browned and crisp on all sides, add the liquid and fry for a few minutes more until all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
- In a blender combine the soaked cashews with ½ cup (120 ml) water and blend until creamy. Add the cooked leeks and potatoes with their cooking liquid and an additional ½ cup (120 ml) of vegetable stock and continue blending until smooth. Be careful that your blender top doesn’t explode off from the heat.
- Back in your large pan add another few splashed of water (or oil), the celery, green parts of the leeks and the thyme. Fry until soft then add the remaining two diced potatoes. When the potatoes are about halfway cooked, add the carrot. Once all the veggies are soft, add the cream base from the blender, the mushrooms, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency of the chowder to your liking: adding more of the remaining stock if you would like it a bit thinner (I added an additional ½ cup/120ml).
- Serve immediately with green onion or parsley sprinkled on top.
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