Weeknight Cooking

The Best of All Worlds: A Creamy, Chunky, Vegetarian Chowder

October 27, 2014

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: You shouldn't have to decide between creamy soup and chunky soup. Here's your happy medium.


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I am terrible at making decisions. I am the “I don't know, what do you want to do?” queen of the universe, the girl in heated internal debate in a dressing room between the same shirt in two colors, going hungry rather than committing to either tacos or Thai. Last week, and I am not kidding you, I bought a pair of shoes, left the store with them, descended below ground to the subway platform, and decided upon seeing my train pull up that maybe what I needed was sneakers, not boots. I turned around and immediately exchanged them.  

For me, the answer to every judgment call-debacle is “both.” The answer is do both, get both, have both. Sometimes that is not feasible -- you cannot live in two different cities at once unless you have magic powers, and unless everyone is totally on board, maybe stick with one girlfriend at a time. But there is the delightful and occasional situation in which “both” is possible, and you should not sleep on that. 

More: The perfect cookies are chewy and crunchy -- you shouldn't have to choose.

Exhibit A: this soup. Half creamy soup, half chunky soup, because who in the WORLD wants to pick between those two things? Not me, not ever, because I want to bathe in an ocean of cream soup for the rest of my days -- but if I did, would my teeth fall out from lack of use? Give me something to chew on, soup! And so, then, this. It's creamy from cauliflower and potatoes, but you don't purée it all the way, so you're still left with a few good chunks. Zero point zero percent chance of buyer’s remorse.

(Editor's note: This soup might not look like it has chunks in it, but it does. We promise. And they are good.)

Chowder on Food52

Red Pepper and Cauliflower Chowder

Serves 3

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 red pepper, cored and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk (get some fat in there; I'm a staunch skim milker and even I sprung for 2%)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon corriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin

For serving:

Freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Alpha Smoot

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A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


sexyLAMBCHOPx December 30, 2014
Is it worth a try in the vitamix?
Kate October 30, 2014
So fantastic and quick and easy. I made a double recipe and the flavor gets even better in the re-heating! I added tiny, roasted cauliflowerettes (because I had extra) and have also crumbled feta on top. Raves from the Fam!
Sherry E. October 29, 2014
was hoping for no sort of milk or alternative, probably can't have my cake and eat it too so to speak??? the texture without the dairy or alternative?
Sherry E. October 29, 2014
any way to make dairy free really really do not like dairy in my soup but do like the thickness.
Kendra V. October 29, 2014
coconut milk! always a good soup alternative.
Rachel B. October 29, 2014
full fat soy milk would work
Charlotte S. October 27, 2014
Oh my gosh, there is nothing more comforting than a hearty soup in the fall.. love this!

Found some other really unique thanksgiving/halloween recipes here.. http://entertaining.idailyinfo.com/