When the weather turns on you, nothing is more comforting than a hot bowl of soup. Growing up in Seattle, we had an abundance of two things: cold weather and great seafood. While seafood is off my radar now, sometimes you want a hearty bowl of something to warm you up from the inside. This is a vegan adaptation of Ivar’s clam chowder (a timeless Seattle institution). Kumbu adds just a touch of sea flavor, but doesn’t go so far as to make it overly seaweedy as some faux sea foods tend to be. It will do just fine in a bowl, but for that all encompassing chowder experience serve in a hollowed out loaf of sourdough.
New England style oyster mushroom chowder
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely diced celery
2 cups finely diced potatoes (use red potatoes or another waxy potato that will hold up to cooking)
1 bay leaf
2 strips (about 2”X4”) dry Kombu
12 oz oyster mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
3/4 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup flour
2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
2 cups MimicCreme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar
In a medium pot combine onions, celery, potatoes, kumbu, and bay leaf. Add enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove kumbu and bay leaf.
Meanwhile, in a small pan heat a small amount of olive oil or earth balance over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and Old Bay and saute until tender, about 3-5 min. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside
In a large soup pot, melt Earth Balance over medium heat and add flour. Cook, stirring, until you have a golden brown roux.
Slowly whisk soy milk and MimicCream into the roux. Cook, whisking until smooth and thick.
Add the vegetables with their cooking liquid, the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and sugar. Adjust seasoning to taste.