This vegetarian chowder was spontaneous result of making numerous chowders and soups so I felt confident enough to make a potato, corn chowder soup only to realize that half a cauliflower head that was just chilling in the refrigerator could be put to good use. Hence the Roasted Cauliflower Chowder. The roasting of the cauliflower and topping the chowder truly makes the soup unique and makes the cauliflower the star.
A quick note of caution is that depending on where you put the roasted cauliflower, it may get eaten and you may not have enough left to put on the chowder 😆. The recipe for the roasted cauliflower is a modified version of my Crispy Masala Cauliflower. I did everything but just held back on the Indian Spices and Mango powder. I felt that might overpower the chowder.
The other thing I wanted to emphasize is to ensure that the size the potatoes are cubed are similar. If they are too different, some will naturally puree while others may not be fully cooked through.
We were happy to just have it as it for a late dinner but I can see it being totally yummy with some toasted (and perhaps, buttered) sliced baguette or in a bread bowl.
1 tablespoon oil
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups mirapoix or (1 cup chopped onions, 1.2 cup chopped celery and 1/2 cup chopped carrots)
2 1/2 cups of small cubed potatoes
1 heaping cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups + 1 cup + 1 cup of water
3 tablespoons of flour or corn flour
3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon/to taste chili oil (I used Trader Joe's chili oil here)
3-4 cups cauliflower florets cut into small pieces (Roasting instructions - Exactly similar to my Crispy Masala Cauliflower but hold back on all spices except salt and pepper)
Heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat in a stock pot or anything you would cook soup in.
Add the bay leaf and flavor the oil.
Add the mirapoix/onion, celery, carrot mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes till onions turn transluscent.
Add in the potatoes, corn, oregano, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir for 2-3 minutes till potatoes change color and turn opaque.
Next add the water. Start with adding 4 cups or enough to cover/submerge the potatoes.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
Cover and set the timer for 20 minutes.
Check in with the water level at about 10 minutes. If the potatoes are still submerged and everything is nicely simmering, then cover it back up again and continue on with Step 8.
Sometimes more water may have evaporated than you expected and the potatoes may not be covered by water. Ig so, then take another cup of warm water (I usually microwave a cup of water) and add to the pot and continue cooking for the remainder of the time.
While base is cooking, prep the cauliflower. Check out the recipe for my Crispy Masala Cauliflower. The only modification is that you ONLY add salt and pepper and skip all the other spices if you want the version I made here. Place in the oven and start roasting. Once they are cooked, let them start cooling to be used as a topping for the chowder.
When the timer for the base goes off, take another cup of warm water and add the flour. Stir well to get the lumps out. Add this to the soup base and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer; simmer for 2-3 minutes. The soup base should have thickened up. Use a spoon to check the consistency. The ideal consistency is for the soup base to coat the spoon similar to heavy cream.
Add the half and half. Continue to cook without raising the temperature for another 3-5 minutes to cook the soup through.
Ladle into bowls, and top with roasted cauliflower.
Please email me at email@example.com if anything is unclear or if you have any questions. If you try this recipe and it works for you or made modifications, please leave a comment to let the community know.