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This Vegan Clam Chowder is inspired by the classic New England Clam Chowder. It’s made with a thick and creamy non-dairy milk base, tender potatoes, fragrant aromatics, and oyster mushrooms as the perfect clams substitute. Serve with oyster crackers and fresh parsley for the ultimate dinner tonight! It seriously tastes like the real thing!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cashews: The base of this vegan clam chowder is inspired by the creamy soup base in our Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup. When blended with non-dairy milk, it makes a great vegan substitute for half-and-half or heavy cream.
- Non-dairy milk: Our go-to is our homemade almond milk, but feel free to use what you have on hand. Almond milk, coconut milk, or unsweetened soy milk are all good alternatives. Note that coconut milk may leave a coconut flavor after-taste, but it should be subtle!
- Vegan butter: We opted for vegan butter instead of oil for additional savory flavor, but feel free to opt for a neutral oil such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, or even olive oil.
- Oyster mushrooms: The best vegan clams! Oyster mushrooms have a strong umami flavor and have similar textures to clams. They’re hearty, chewy, and earthy. If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, try king oyster mushrooms (trumpet mushrooms), shiitake mushrooms, or as a last resort, cremini mushrooms.
- Aromatics: A simple blend of leeks, carrot, garlic, thyme and bay leaves add depth of flavor to this hearty soup and help create a savory broth.
- White miso paste: Another great source of umami flavor. A little bit goes a long way, but adds a ton of flavor to the creamy base.
- Dry white wine: White wine helps amplify the flavors in this vegan clam chowder and brings all the flavors together. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, replace with vegetable stock.
- Flour: All purpose flour helps thicken the clam chowder and speeds up the cooking process. If you are gluten-free, opt for a gluten-free flour blend.
- Yukon gold potatoes: Our favorite potatoes to use in soups due to their creamy buttery texture. However russet potato will work in a pinch – just make sure to peel them beforehand.
- Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon juice stirred in at the end of cooking helps balance the savory, creamy soup base and brightens the flavor.
- Salt + Pepper: Adding salt and pepper throughout the cooking process helps season the layers sufficiently and creates a full-bodied soup bursting with flavor.
How to Make Vegan Clam Chowder
- Blend the cashews and non-dairy milk. Add the drained, soaked cashews to a high-speed blender and the non-dairy milk and blend on high until smooth. Set aside while you prepare the remainder of the soup.
- Brown the mushrooms. In a large soup pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter. Once melted, add 4 ounces of the oyster mushrooms and cook, occasionally stirring, until the mushrooms begin to brown and crisp up, about 8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set them aside (for garnish!).
- Cook the leeks and remaining mushrooms. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter. Once melted, add in the remaining oyster mushrooms and sliced leeks. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the leeks soften and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the aromatics. Add in the carrot, minced garlic, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened and fragrant. Stir in the miso paste until well incorporated.
- Deglaze the pan with dry white wine. Use your spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes, frequently stirring, to cook off the alcohol.
- Add the flour. Stir it through, cooking until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Next, add in the water 1 cup at a time, stirring between each addition. Add in the bay leaves, potatoes, and remaining salt.
- Simmer. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover, occasionally stirring, until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the cashew cream and lemon juice.
- Serve. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then top as desired. Enjoy!
This vegan clam chowder soup is the ultimate comfort recipe perfect for a cozy dinner. Serve on its own with fresh parsley, oyster crackers, and reserved oyster mushrooms. You can also serve it in a bread bowl with a sprinkle of crumbled crispy vegan bacon or with a side of crusty bread like our no knead bread. Or, serve it with our Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad for a light, healthy side.
Leftover vegan clam chowder will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature before storing and transfer to airtight containers for best flavor retention.
Reheat leftover clam chowder soup in the microwave or on the stovetop in a small saucepan until warmed through. If frozen, allow thawing in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before reheating as usual. If any separation occurs, stir the soup back together until combined.
More Creamy Vegan Soup Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Locro De Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup) – A cheesy and full-of-flavor Ecuadorian soup that is a must-try.
- The BEST Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Copycat) – You will fall in love with soup, we promise!
- Potato Leek Soup (Vegan + 8-Ingredients) – Perfect for cold nights, this a super hearty soup that is a breeze to make.
- Cream of Mushroom Soup – Easy & Vegan – An essential around the holidays or just to enjoy anytime.
- Vegan Broccoli Potato Soup – A delicious way to get some extra veggies in!
- Easy Split Pea Soup (Anderson’s Copy Cat) – If you’ve ever had Anderson’s pea soup, you know how delicious this recipe is.