Creamy TVP Corn Chowder

When it’s cold and damp, there’s not much as satisfying as a warm bowl of creamy, homemade corn chowder. Sometimes corn chowder can seem a little bland or thin, but I like to make it full of herbs and veggies with an extra boost of protein in the form of cheese and a vegetarian chicken substitute. This time I used TVP, although it is equally good made with meat analogs too. (The original recipe, which gives you a variety of meat substitute options is in our Homestyle Favorites Made Meatless cookbook, which you can find here.)

First I sauteed a minced shallot,  2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 large red bell pepper in olive oil (use a large pot or Dutch oven) over medium heat until just tender.

Then I added 3 medium red potatoes (cut in 1/2 inch cubes), and 3 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.

While this was cooking I  prepared the TVP. I don’t usually cook with TVP because I am avoiding all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fat, and flavored TVP often has both. But plain TVP is just made from soy flour, so no bad fats. Of course, it has no flavor either. Recently one of my students told me that she has good luck combining TVP with broth, so that’s what I tried (thanks Christine!). The recipe calls for 2 cups of vegetarian chicken, so I used almost a cup of dried TVP and 1 tsp of vegetarian chicken broth powder, along with 1 cup of boiling water and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Here’s what the TVP and broth powder looked like before the water:

And here’s what it looked like after it was hydrated.

You could skip this step and just add the TVP along with the potatoes and broth, but I wanted to boost the flavor even more. Once the potatoes were tender I added 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn kernels. Then, in a separate bowl I mixed together 3 cups of evaporated milk (2 cans) and 3 TBSP of flour, stirred that into the soup, and continued stirring until the soup was slightly thickened. Then in went  the TVP, 1 tsp liquid smoke, 1 tsp dried chervil, 1/4 cup crumbled sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 cup shredded almond pepper jack cheese.

It simmered until the cheese melted, and then was served with some smoked paprika. Yumm!

This recipe makes 4-6 HEARTY servings.

Make it vegan: Although I used regular milk in this version, I have also made it using hemp milk. The hemp milk is a little more bitter, so you may want to serve it with a bit of agave nectar or rice wine vinegar to offset the bitterness.

Make it into corn scallop: Almost every corn scallop recipe calls for canned cream corn – which I don’t like at all. This recipe though makes a great scallop too (something you can do with leftovers maybe). Add another cup of corn, spoon it into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, top with breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees until warm and bubbly (about 40 minutes).

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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