Creamy Corn and Zucchini Chowder with Tempeh Bacon
Creamy, filled to the brim with fresh vegetables, simple to make, and oh-so-nutritious, this vegan corn and zucchini chowder will keep summer memories alive in your kitchen all year long. Buttery tones and delicate flavors of the corn and zucchini are highlighted with garlic and herbs, umami rich miso and a touch of smokiness from tempeh bacon.
3medium sized carrots, peeled and diced(approximately 1/2 lb)
2tbspdried onion flakes, optional
2lbszucchini, diced with skins on
3 ears of corn, kernals cut off(approximately 2 1/4 cups)
5cupsreduced-sodium soup stock, divided
1cupraw cashew pieces, soaked*(see notes on soaking)
4tbspaka miso paste
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the tempeh bacon until lightly browned on each side. Remove the tempeh bacon from the pan to cool.
Heat the other tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and carrots, cooking and stirring often until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, dried onions (if using), thyme, zucchini and corn. Cook, stirring often, another 5-8 minutes or until the zucchini is just becoming tender but still firm and not mushy.
In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked, drained cashews with 2 cups of soup stock and the miso paste. Blend on high until completely smooth.
Add the remaining 3 cups of soup stock and the cashew cream to the soup pot. Stir well over medium heat. Finely crumble in the cooled tempeh slices. Stir often until heated through.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove 2 cups of the vegetables in the pot and place in the high-speed blender with one cup of the broth. Blend until smooth, and add back to the soup pot, stirring to combine. If you want a chowder that is completely smooth, you can blend the whole pot of soup in batches or use an immersion blender.
To do a quick soak, place the cashews in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the cashews simmer for 10 minutes. To do a longer soak, place the cashews in a container and cover with water. Place in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain before using.