Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder with Herbed Crostini
What do you get when you combine Meatless Monday with Monday Night Football? Deliciousness, that’s what! The makers of Silk challenged me to “sideline meat” and create a vegetarian, football-night-friendly food that uses one of their milk products. It’s called the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge, and you know I was up for it!
After a little brainstorming and a lot of taste-testing (it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it), Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder was born.
Without dairy, it can be tough to replicate that creamy, dreamy element that chowders and creamy soups sport. But with this chowder, I’ve found the one-two play of blitzed cauliflower along with creamy almond milk gets us to the goal line. (Catch the football references?! Can’t help myself.)
Cauliflower, when cooked and pureed, becomes remarkably smooth and luxurious – perfect for that decadent, thick chowder consistency. Almond milk adds to that creaminess for a bowl of comforting goodness that they’ll never know is dairy-free.
For this spicy, bold bowl of Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder, I took a cue from something nearly every coffee table offers up on game day: buffalo wings. If “buffalo” doesn’t scream football food, I don’t know what does! And this chowder definitely sports the heat-building vibe everyone knows and loves, but the delivery is meatless and served up in a bowl. Lighter AND far less napkins used. Touchdown! (Okay, I’ll stop now.)
This chowder’s best with crispy, herb-coated crostini, dipped generously into that creamy soupy goodness and gnawed with gusto. This is football food, after all! I love how the parsley and dill add a bit of a cooling feel to the whole shebang. Plus: crispy golden bread. Done and done.
Both the soup and crostini can be made ahead of time too. Just whip up the soup up to a two days before hand and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan over low heat over the stove, and you’re good to go. The toasted crostini freeze gloriously – just pull them out about an hour before mealtime to thaw.
Then just kick back and enjoy the game – the meatless, dairy-free, and totally delicious way!
Tackle the Meatless Monday Night challenge
Visit silk.com/sidelinemeat for more #MeatlessMondayNight recipes – and to enter Silk’s giveaway!
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder with Herbed Crostini
This hearty, veggie-packed chowder packs a kicky wallop, buffalo hot sauce style. Creamy, full of flavor, and, yep, vegan – though the carnivores will no doubt be clamoring for seconds, too! Don’t forget the crisp broiled crostini for some delicious dipping.
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups cauliflower florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons red hot sauce (more or less, to taste)
- 1 cup Silk unsweetened almondmilk
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Optional toppings such as sliced scallions, roasted cauliflower, chives, blue cheese (if not vegan), or a few extra drops of red hot sauce
- 1/2 baguette, sliced thin (about 1/4-inch)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Set a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the vegetable broth, cauliflower, and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high to bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, make the crostini. Set the slices of baguette on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, herbs, and salt. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the tops of each slice of bread with the olive oil herb mixture. Broil on high until toasted and golden brown, 2-5 minutes (the time really depends on your broiler. Watch carefully – they can burn fast!)
- Back to the soup! Remove the soup from the heat and let cool just until safe to handle. Transfer 1/2 of the soup, about 4 cups, to a bowl and, using an immersion blender, puree the remaining soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender or food processor. Return all of the soup to the pot, mixing the pureed soup and the chunky soup back together.
- Place the soup back on the burner (medium-low heat). Stir in the red hot sauce and the almond milk. If you’re sensitive to heat/spiciness, you may want to start with 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce, then add more to taste. Return to a simmer and stir in the parsley. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into bowls, serve with assorted toppings, and float a crostini on top of each bowl (or serve alongside).
The soup itself is gluten-free; just omit the crostini or make with a gluten-free bread.
NEW RECIPE RATINGS:
October 3, 2015 – I’ve just added a star rating system to this recipe so if you have tried it, please be sure to rate it to let others know how you like it – 5 if you love it, 1 if you don’t (but hopefully you love it!) Just click on the stars below the “Print Recipe” button above. Thank you!
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