I made this dinner the night before a huge snowstorm walloped us here in CT, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was easy to throw together and just the comfort food needed to get everyone in the spirit of a snow day. I based the recipe on Rachael Ray’s New England Chicken Chowder, so even the name fit the bill!
The original recipe uses heavy cream, but I subbed in coconut milk to make it dairy-free. I also used gluten-free flour in the roux that helps thicken the soup, and chose nitrite-free bacon and organic corn to keep things clean. This soup is pretty straightforward in the seasoning department, so if you like heat I’d suggest adding a couple of drops of hot sauce into our bowl.
Dairy-Free Chicken Chowder
adapted from Rachael Ray
5 slices thick-cut nitrite-free bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
4 tbs. Earth Balance butter spread
3 tbs. gluten-free flour
3/4 lb. organic red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large ribs celery with leaves, ribs halved lengthwise then sliced
1 large white onion, minced
2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise then sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cups organic chicken broth
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups frozen organic corn kernels (thawed)
3 tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
In a large pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-high until crispy, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
In the pot, cook the butter and flour over medium, stirring constantly, until light brown, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, garlic and bay leaves; stir until coated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock and chicken. Cook, partially covered, over medium, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
In a blender, puree the cream with half the corn. Stir the puree and the remaining corn into the soup; season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 bowls. Top with the bacon and chives.