New England “Clam” Chowder

As the weather has begun to cool down at last in North Carolina, I’m finally ready for soups and stews again. Time to try Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ vegan take on clam chowder from Isa Does It. I’ve never had clam chowder, so I really have nothing to compare the recipe to. But I suspect this does not taste like clam chowder. Isa uses mushrooms and seaweed to add an umami and fishy flavor. I’m not sure I got enough of that though, as the flavor was a bit on the dull side. I suspect the seaweed and mushrooms weren’t in the broth long enough to give all their flavor. On the other hand though, I thought the potatoes were too soft, so I wouldn’t want to cook for any longer. I did use kombu instead of nori. I’m not sure if nori wouldn’t have given a lot more flavor since my seaweed knowledge is on the lighter side.

The recipe does have the requisite creaminess, thanks to cashew cream. But I found that the broth to veggie ratio was off. I ended up adding 2 cups of extra liquid, which seemed about right.

I’m non the fence about whether I will make this again. But if I do, I’ll tweak several things:

  1. I’ll make special vegetable broth for the dish that includes sewaeed and dried mushrooms in it to up the sea flavor factor without overcooking the veggies.
  2. I’d use 4 cups of vegetable broth when I put in the potatoes instead of 2.
  3. I’d only cook the potatoes for 7 minutes instead of the 10-15 called for in the recipe. I prefer my potatoes to still have some bite to them.
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