It's easy to make your own hearty vegetable chowder at home. Chowder is a delicious filling meal that is packed with plant-based nutrition. It's a perfect dinner choice after a busy cold weather day. You can also make it the day before for quick heat and eat dinner.
Chowder is a type of soup or stew often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers or a roux. However, this vegetable chowder is vegan and gets its creaminess in the way it is prepared.
How do you make creamy vegan soup?
The secret to making non-dairy creamy vegetable chowder is after it is cooked, whisk 1/2 of the soup in a Vitamix blender. After it is emulsified, add the creamy soup back into the pot of chowder.
If you would like to make it extra creamy without dairy, then add 1 cup of Spicy Cashew Cream Sauce into the blender with the soup. Blend well and pour back into the pan.
What is in veggie chowder?
The best thing about this recipe is you can add about any veggie you have on hand to the cooking pot. The key is to keep the size of your vegetables consistent, so they cook evenly at the same amount of time.
- fresh thyme
- gold potatoes
- vegetable broth
- lemon pepper
- salt and pepper
Tips for making the recipe
For this recipe, I used one of my favorite kitchen tools, my Vita Mixer. It’s the magic that makes this chowder creamy and thick. I especially like how easy it is to clean up. Usually, a quick hand wash will do, but I let my dishwasher do the work for a really messy recipe.
Best potatoes for soup
It is best to use waxy potatoes or those called boiling potatoes in soups and chowders. They hold their shape well during the cooking process because they have thin skin, high moisture, and low starch. I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes in my chowders. They are on the medium-starch side and will hold their shape and not get mushy.
This recipe uses fresh thyme, garlic, onions, and oregano to give it a mild flavor. However, if you would like to spice it up with some heat, I suggest adding a tablespoon of Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning during the cooking process. It's a family favorite for us.
You could also add a tablespoon of homemade Sazon Seasoning or Homemade Season Salt Mix. Both will infuse a new flavor profile to your homemade vegetable soup easily.
Mix ins and toppings for veggie chowder
One of our family’s favorite add-ins to soups is sweet and spicy jalapeno Canned Cowboy Candy. Canned Cowboy Candy is the perfect way to preserve many jalapenos in an addictive sweet and spicy sauce. They are also great on burgers, Mexican foods, in dips, and pimento cheese spread.
On a busy night, a quick dinner would be to make this Instant Pot Coconut Rice and then open a can of your soup, heat in a pan, and then stir in some sweet, creamy rice for a filling meal.
How to make a crockpot vegetable chowder
- Cook on medium heat the onions, garlic, and celery with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet for about 5 minutes. Put in the crockpot when finished.
- Add all other ingredients to the crockpot.
- Cover and set the temperature to LOW for 6 hours, or set on HIGH for 3 hours.
- Transfer about 1/2 the chowder to a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Return pureed chowder to the original pot of chowder, stirring together to create a creamy chowder.
How to make chowder in an Instant Pot
- Set Instant Pot to saute, and add oil, onion, and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally stirring, until onion softens, 5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Lock lid and set machine to cook at high pressure for 13 minutes. When finished, carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to release the pressure.
- Carefully scoop 1/2 of the chowder into a blender. Blend until creamy and return to the instant pot. Stir and serve.
How to pressure can vegetable chowder
Homemade vegetable-based soups (with or without meat) are usually mixtures of low-acid ingredients. They need to be pressure canned by a process developed by research methods known to control botulism food poisoning. For complete instructions, visit my post, Canned Vegetable Soup
How to store left over and reheat
Place leftover soup in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, pour the soup into a microwave-safe container that leaves several inches of room from the top.
- Place a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap on top of the container, leaving a small opening at the side as a vent.
- Heat for 1 minute, stir and heat again for 30 seconds or until warm.
- Allow the soup to cool down to room temperature.
- Use thick, durable freezer bags or airtight freezer containers.
- Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and freeze.
- Defrost in the fridge overnight.
- You could also defrost in a bowl of room temperature water.
- To defrost quickly, use the defrost setting on a microwave.
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Instant Pot Vegetable Stew
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onions sliced into small bite-size pieces
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup celery sliced into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups potatoes I like to use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe. Peeled and diced into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup green beans fresh or frozen, snapped into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups carrots peeled and sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup peas frozen
- 16 oz chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms (optional) diced into small pieces
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
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- Set Instant Pot to sauté function. When heated, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Saute, occasionally stirring so the onion does not stick to the bottom of the pot, until onion softens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Lock the lid and be sure the valve is set to seal. Set Instant Pot to manual/pressure. Set to high pressure. Set cooking time to 13 minutes with the + or - sign. 10 seconds after choosing the settings, the cooker beeps 3 times and displays On to indicate that the cooker has entered preheating cycle. As the cooker heats up and pressure builds, the float valve rises. When the working pressure is reached, the cooker enters the pressure cooking cycle and displays the remaining cooking time.
- When the cooking cycle has finished, the cooker beeps. For this recipe do a natural release by allowing the cooker to cool down naturally until the float valve drops down. This may take 10 to 20 minutes. Place a wet towel on the metal part of the lid to speed up cooling (do not cover the steam release). Next, turn the steam release handle to the venting position to let any remaining pressure out. Press cancel. Carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the bay leaf and discard. Scoop 3 cups of stew with broth from the instant pot. Carefully pour it into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the stew in the instant pot. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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- For a thicker and creamier soup, blend one-third of the soup before serving!
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