Ying and Yang – A Balanced Chowder For Vegan and Not-So Vegan

One soup recipe that I have been meaning to create for quite sometime is a chowder that is lactose-free (no milk or cream) and vegan for myself and not so vegan for my husband with salmon. I have fallen off the vegetarian wagon lately and not sure if meat is my thing once again. I feel so much better sticking to vegetarian.  I have made this chowder in the past with bacon and wine, but for last night I wanted to make it a lighter healthy bowl of soup.

The Verdict of Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder

This chowder is very hearty with crusty toasty bread and is milk/cream-free (I used Almond Milk for the creaminess). I did not feel like I missed any of the cream, the almond milk worked very well. And the base had just enough heat with the crushed chiles and the serano chile. This is a perfect ying yang soup recipe to make two people happy, one wanting vegan and the other not. Was very good as left overs today!

Vegan Chowder Base

Vegan Chowder Ingredients:

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
  •  2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 1 serano chile, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chiles
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
  • dash of salt and pepper

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want to go vegan as bad as you do:

  • 1/5  pack of wild smoked salmon,  torn or cut in smaller pieces.

Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, over medium, heat olive oil up.
  2. Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, serano, crushed chile, red & yellow peppers and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable broth, tomato, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add the almond milk, lemon juice, and thyme to pot. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point. Reduce heat to low – simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle soup in bowls
  6. Garnish with chives.

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want go vegan as bad as you do:

  1. Distribute the smoked salmon to the top of bowl before the chives.

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5
Presentation: (4.25/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Wild Smoked Salmon Chowder – A Lactose-Free Delight!

Serve Chowder

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Ladle soup in bowls. Distribute the smoked salmon to the top of each bowl of chowder. Garnish with chives.

Yippee! I’m Whistler bound in a few weeks for the ski season and I imagine I will be making a ton of hot soups. One soup recipe that I have been meaning to create for quite sometime is a smoked salmon chowder that is lactose-free (no milk or cream). Just last week, I had the liberty to make it for my boyfriend and one of his friends for dinner. I served it as the main course. I am quite sure I will make this chowder up on the ski mountain a few times!

The Verdict of Wild Smoked Salmon Chowder?

The chowder was very hearty with oven warmed Naam bread.

This chowder recipe is milk/cream-free (I used Almond Milk for the creaminess) but does have some naughty bacon. Bacon makes a chowder base so yummy – a little bit is only needed. I think I have done a good job on creating this lactose-free chowder!

I did not feel like I missed any of the cream, the almond milk worked very well. And the base had just enough heat with the crushed chiles and the serano chile. I can’t wait to make this same chowder again while skiing on the mountain – I think I’m going to look for the perfect thermal canister to carry in my back pack.

Wild Smoked Salmon Chowder Ingredients:

  • 200 grams diced Pancetta (or smoked bacon)
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
  •  2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 1 serano chile, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper (approx  3/4 cup), diced small
  • 1 yellow pepper (approx  3/4 cup), diced small
  • 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed chilis
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 large pack of wild smoked salmon,  torn or cut in smaller pieces.
  • 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
  • dash of salt and pepper

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine to drink as well as to cook with. I think it gives the chowder base a really refined acidity level and a crispness that enhances the spices and all of the delish vegetables.

Wild Smoked Salmon Chowder Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, sauté pancetta/bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp, approximately 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to plate and allow to rest.
  2. Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, serano, crushed chile, red & yellow peppers and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable broth, 2 cups wine, tomato, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Add the almond milk, lemon juice, thyme and bacon to pan. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point. Reduce heat to low. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle soup in bowls
  6. Distribute the smoked salmon to the top of each bowl of chowder
  7. Garnish with chives.

Soup Mistress Rating for Wild Smoked Salmon Chowder:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5
Presentation: (4.5/5) 

Taste: (4.5/5) 

Soup Artwork in Sonoma – Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup at El Dorado

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Just this past weekend, I had the liberty to go for a beautiful drive to Sonoma when visiting San Francisco. This is one very cute town and I would love to go back and stay at least one night and do more wine tastings in town.

After trying and buying some wonderful wine at Bryter (www.bryter.com) in the Historic Sonoma Plaza we ventured on over to the Eldorado Hotel (www.eldoradosonoma.com) for some lunch.

It’s like soup art!
I ordered their Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup. It  had smoked salmon, crispy fingerling potatoes, lemon pearls and creme fraiche.This was a very nice soup and probably the best looking soup I have ever been served up even though some soup was on the edge of bowl (just ignore that)! It’s like soup art! Just check out the creme fraiche lines in the soup picture above. I would like to try to do that in a soup in the future.

The Verdict of Green Garlic and Potato Leek Soup? The creme fraiche gave the soup a velvet taste, yet not too rich. I really loved how tiny the chives were chopped and how the chef fried up the fingerling potatoes. If I was to come back to Sonoma I would try the restaurant again for dinner for sure in a heart beat!