As much as you love to travel, you can’t be globetrotting all the time. Sometimes you’ve got to let your taste buds do the traveling for you. Food can remind us of our favorite trips from the past or help us imagine what some far-off locale might be like when we finally make it there one day.
This Thai white bean chowder combines the spices and flavors of Southeast Asia with American ingredients. Lite coconut milk and almond milk provide a creamy base for the sauce without packing in the calories or fat while pureed white beans add heft and make sure this soup sticks to your ribs. Lemongrass, cilantro and lime evoke the classic flavors of Thailand, while jalapenos add a hint of spice. We’ve cooled things back down with cucumber and sweet corn. It all adds up to a spicy/sweet, tangy/creamy, East/West combination that’ll have you dreaming of the night markets of Bangkok.
Try this as a great vegan entree, or serve it as a first course to grilled chicken skewers in peanut sauce. Finish off with a little green tea ice cream and then start planning your trip to Thailand.
Chilled Thai White Bean Chowder with Corn and Cucumber
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
2 inches lemon grass, root end smashed
4 1/2 inches cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
4 cups sweet onion, chopped
4 ears corn, cooked, kernels removed
24 oz. Randall Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1 can lite coconut milk
3 cups almond milk
1 tbsp. white pepper
3 limes, juiced
fresh coriander garnish, optional
In a stock pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add onions, celery and white ends of the chopped scallions. Cook until mixture is translucent but not brown
Reserve 1 cup of corn and 2 cups cucumber. Add corn, garlic, cucumber and lemongrass to the pot and continue to cook for 3 minutes stirring so that the mixture doesn’t brown and ingredients are incorporated.
Add white beans, coconut milk and almond milk. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that is on top. Add white pepper and salt to taste. Turn stove off and let the soup cool.
In a food processor lightly chop scallion greens, corn and cucumber. Mixture should be chunky. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Working in batches, puree soup. Add soup to the serving bowl and chill. Once chilled adjust seasoning to taste. Add lime juice and serve.
Garnish with fresh coriander if desired.
Are you hungry yet? Head out to the store, and look for Randall’s Great Northern Beans to make this dish tonight.