This vegan chowder is creamy and delicious, and packed with protein and fiber from healthy white beans and tempeh. Old Bay seasoning and dashi stock add the flavor of the ocean without the fish.
I think of my home state of Maryland as one of the most quietly dignified states in the union. It became our home 20 years ago for no reason better than it borders Washington, D.C., where Desi went to grad school. After six months of sharing a one-bedroom apartment near American University with two Indian students, we were inordinately excited when we found, and rented, a studio apartment with a tiny kitchenette that we could barely afford, and had all to ourselves, in Silver Spring, a suburb located right at the border of Maryland and D.C.
We stayed on because over the years, we grew to love our home state for its natural beauty and its progressive politics. I went to grad school at the University of Maryland, and we found jobs in D.C. We moved from that studio to a larger apartment and eventually bought our own house with a real kitchen. We started our family here, first with our furry kids and then our human one.
We are proud to be one of the first states that legalized gay marriage by referendum. We are proud to havebeen home to some really talented artists, from Edgar Allan Poe to Billie Holiday and Goldie Hawn. We are proud to be home to the stunning Chesapeake Bay Bridge, more than four miles of curving steel and concrete suspended nearly 200 feet above the gleaming waters of the Chesapeake Bay (squeamish drivers who cannot face the prospect of what has been called the scariest bridge in America can hire a "drive-over" service that operates daily). We are proud of our residents and lawmakers who consistently stand up for workers and immigration rights. We are proud of our courts that stand up to bigotry and hatred.
We love that, in Maryland, Jay is getting an education in one of the best public school systems in the country, not just because it has fantastic teachers and a great curriculum that encourages his creativity, but also because the schools in our part of the state are chock-full of students representing the great diversity of America.
But, as a vegan for more than 10 years now, I do have one issue with my beloved Maryland: the food. At least the food that we tell the world we are proud of and lay claim to. Because most of it is fished out of the Chesapeake Bay, which we share with our other neighbor, Virginia.
While there are plenty of vegan friendly and vegan restaurants in D.C. and Maryland, including Great Sage in Columbia, if I want to eat on a day out at, say, a scenic spot like Havre de Grace with its beautiful ducks and lighthouse, or at Baltimore's Inner Harbor with its grand ships and history, or at Annapolis's beautiful waterfront with its cobbled streets and boats bobbing in slips, the menu at most restaurants will very likely offer crab cakes of every size and seafood of every kind, but virtually nothing that's local but also vegan, delicious, and not a salad.
Over time, I've learned to veganize some of these foods at home. We love our tempeh crabcakes, seasoned with Old Bay, a popular seafood flavoring made of spices (and entirely vegan), that also owes its origins to the Chesapeake Bay region. And we love this very vegan version of a Chesapeake Chowder, usually made with a variety of sea creatures, including fish and crabs, and Old Bay. My version draws on tempeh and white beans for protein, and cashew cream instead of cream for that velvety smoothness and mouth feel.
Try these vegan recipes next:
Vegan Chesapeake Chowder
- 1 cup dried white beans (soaked for a few hours, then cooked until tender. You can also use canned)
- 8 oz tempeh (crumbled into small bits)
- 1 medium shallot (finely chopped)
- 2 sticks celery (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed and minced)
- 2 tablespoon rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine (optional, but nice to add more flavor)
- 2 medium potatoes (yellow or red, diced)
- 1 tbsp, or more Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
- 2 dry bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons parsley (optional)
To make dashi stock:
- 1 sheet dashi kombu
- 3 cups water
For cashew cream:
- ½ cup raw cashews (soaked for 30 minutes)
- ½ cup water
Make cashew cream:
- Place the cashews and water in a blender and blend into a very smooth paste.
Make dashi stock:
- Soak the dashi in the water for three hours. Bring the water to a boil and remove the dashi from the water with a pair of tongs, just before the water begins to boil. Leaving the dashi in after the water boils will make the stock bitter and slimy.
Make the chowder:
- Heat the oil. Add the onions, celery, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until the onions turn translucent, but do not let them brown.
- Add the flour and saute for a few minutes until lightly brown.
- Add the potatoes, all of the dashi stock and wine and mix well, until the flour has dissolved in the liquid.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Now add the tempeh and the beans along with the Old Bay. If the chowder is too thick, add a cup of the bean cooking liquid, water or vegetable stock. It will thicken further as it stands, so don't worry about getting it too watery.
- After the chowder comes to a boil, add the cashew cream and mix well. Check if more salt and black pepper are needed. Turn off the heat.
- Serve hot with some crusty bread and a salad.
Made this tonight. It was beyond amazing. Thank you Vaishali!
So happy to hear, Theo!
I would love to try out this recipe, seafood and old bay were favorites of mine before my vegan days! 🙂 since moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia, I've been spoiled by lots of vegan-friendly options for eating out--even with the local classics of Philly cheesesteaks! I love your blog, thanks for all of your tasty recipes and real life perspectives! 🙂
I pinned your recipe here - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/225461525075959808/
I would make cajun seafood jambalaya. It's the perfect pot for it!
I a a long time vegan and at 67 and retired I have many great recipes that would work in this awesome pan. My son is going to be stationed in Aberdeen MD so we are all moving there in Aug. I am excited to try my vegan casserole made with everything that is left over in the fridge. Thanks for the opportunity to win
I'm not to sure of a regional recipe that I'd make but I would definitely make my favorite wild rice and mushroom casserole!
I tweeted about this also:
I would make the ever popular Gujarati dish-Undhiyu! The large circumference, and sufficient depth will be just perfect to make the undhiyu. And for a regional dish within the United States - since CT was my first home, I will use the pan to make pizza sauce, as pizza from this New England state is so popular!
I'd make chicken and dumplings in it!
I'd like to make this chowder! YUM :]
I would love to make chicken and vegetable casserole in this pot.
Vaishali, There are few places I can go on the internet where I am not assaulted by meat.... Is there any way you can politely emphasize that HolyCow is a VEGAN Blosg.... and that meat recipes are not appreciated or appropriate, even by commenters.
I love this shape and size pot to cook one dish meals in and love your creative website, Vaishali!
I would like to make a potato soup or maybe a pierogi dish.
I love the blog. It seems like you've been cranking out a lot of great recipes lately and I can't wait to try the chowder.
I enjoyed your essay on Maryland. We vacationed on the Eastern Shore a few years ago. I've been vegan for almost 6 years and allergic to shellfish since my teens, so I haven't had a crab cake in a long, long time!
If I were to win the casserole I would make a vegan jambalaya. It is a regional dish, although certainly not regional to us here in NJ! I tend to avoid fake meats, but field roast makes a very good spicy sausage.
I'd love to use it to try a vegan New England (non)Clam Chowder.
This recipe looks great! I'm from Maryland, so I can appreciate the hometown spirit of it.
I'd love to win this casserole dish/pan. I'd probably use it for some good vegan paella.
I'd love to use this pan to try out the Texas sweet onion casserole, a recipe I'd bookmarked ages ago.
I am a great fan of your blog, as I love to try different recipes( vegeterian) from around the world. The recipe posted is one more that I can add to my to do list. If I am lucky enough to win the casserole I would cook the Vegetable Stew, a simple but delicious dish from Kerala.
I am a huge fan of spinach pie! I have always had it in a regular pan but a circular casserole dish would be so very interesting to use. I do not have anything like this in my kitchen. I just recently got into cooking and it is now my #1 passion in life. Thanks for the chance to win this.
I would make New England Clam Chowder -- my favorite soup!
I shared on Pinterest
id make chicken and rice in it a small batch and maybe some stew well i know i would if i won it
I shared on Pinterest. If I won the wonderful pan, I would create a traditional Yorkshire pudding. It would puff up beautifully in this special pan. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
Laura Jeanne Hansen
The first thing I would make would be your recipe for Chesapeake Chowder. I've already printed the recipe because whether it's in a @LagostinaUSA pan or one of my own, I'll be eating this dish soon!
Actually, I'd love to make this chesapeake chowder you posted. It looks heavenly!
oh how i love your stories
I tweeted at https://twitter.com/1brisket/status/844281283853385730
I like oven baked macaroni and cheese with diced bacon and ham mixed in. The golden brown layer of cheese on top is my favorite part.
I'd make a wonderful biryani- style rice dish. I love Indian spices!
I shared on facebook!
This chowder looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it, as my son LOVES chili I would be making that in this pan if I won! 🙂 shared on twitter. https://twitter.com/littleryoko
I'm from Texas and would love to make some spicy bean chili in the pan.
Your soup looks lipsmackingly delicious! Thank you for sharing. I've lived in Baltimore for 8 years and I have to respectfully disagree about the food scene here. There's an incredibly good selection of vegetable-forward, vegan options around town these days, and I've had several great vegan meals in Annapolis as well. I definitely wish there were fewer crab cakes but I am really happy with the options overall. If you haven't been up here in a while I hope you'll give it another chance!
Shannon, that's great to know. I visit Baltimore occasionally, although not as often as I'd like to because it's one of my favorite cities, and I am glad to know the food scene is now more vegan friendly. I would love to hear if you have suggestions. The last time I was at Fell's Point, no more than three months ago, I scoured menus to find something local and vegan but ended up at Mezze in the end which was delicious, but definitely not local food.
Recipe looks wonderful! I went to school in Maryland not long ago (St. John's). Your post really took me back to that nice time. I never tried much of the local food, because even though I wasn't vegan then, I didn't like seafood. This recipe looks like a great alternative! Great northern beans are quickly becoming one of my favorite beans (they were great in that white pasta sauce recipe!), and I've been using a lot of tempeh and shallots as well. The instructions say to add potatoes, but I don't see potatoes in the ingredients list. How many potatoes are required?
Keep up the great work, Vaishali!
Nevermind, I see the potatoes now! Question withdrawn.
I would love to make this recipe if I won. But I also truly adore making many. Minestrone!!!
I know I sometimes disagree with you about vegan and animal rights issues... but for once I absolutely agree with you.... there is no room for hatred and bigotry towards humans or animals.
Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion, even though it sometimes differs from yours.... that is the beginning of tolerance.
That pan looks gorgeous! As does your recipe. Why shouldn't vegans be able to have a comforting chowder? I was always envious that I couldn't get the clam chowder in bread bowls in San Francisco.
And Maryland is a great, picturesque state that doesn't get enough attention/appreciation!
I would make a black eyed pea with collard green casserole---the epitome of southern cooking (Georgia).
Sorry---it's Ellen Lederman. Don't know how I posted as anonymous!
🙂 Got it! Thanks, Ellen.
Can't wait to make this chowder! I would use this pan to make my favorite taco filling. Mushrooms, potatoes, and garbanzo beans, here in Southern California tacos are king!
I shared on twitter. https://twitter.com/TheHippieHut/status/844210676457381889
I love making Southern Fried Catfish. It's never quiet the same as having it in Arkansas, but I do my best.
Seriously? This is a vegan blog, don'tcha know...
What a lovely essay on Maryland. I agree with you that it is a quietly dignified state. A couple of my close friends live in MD and I have enjoyed visiting them.
I would use that beautiful casserole to make a Vidalia onion casserole. Vidalia is a town here in Georgia, and I love the sweet mild onions that grow there.
I would cook south indian kurma and other indian gravies in this casserole.