I went to Berkeley and San Francisco for the first time about two weeks ago. I suppose I won't really blog about that (at least yet) since I haven't blogged at all in a few months... but what I really wanted to say was I went to the best restaurant EVER.
We were rehearsing in Berkeley for the afternoon and needed lunch, and Dominic stopped in his tracks when he saw a Smart Alec's and begged us to go in. It boasted great soups, which made me a little weary, because I almost never crave soup. But whatever. Dominic was about to have a heart attack, so we went in.
Thank God for his palpitations, because it was one of the best meals I ate in California. Smart Alec's advertises itself as a healthy fast food place with amazing burgers and sandwiches and its famous air-baked french fries (sweeeeeeeet). But when I saw corn chowder on the menu (AND it comes with fresh baked bread!) I knew that was the route I was going to take. Well, I also got a half a sandwich. But that's not the point.
The point was this ridiculous corn chowder. Right after I ordered it I realized it was vegan. How can a chowder have no dairy? I freaked out a little, but MAN was it amazing. The best texture I've ever put in my mouth. Not too creamy/watery, BURSTING with sweet corn flavor. This thing was my new boyfriend (sorry Frank).
And the first thing I cooked when I got back to Missouri was what I hoped would be a replica of that amazing bowl of chowder. I searched online for "dairy-free corn chowder" and got a lot of weird-looking things, but then I stumbled upon something that looked a little more like what I had. And I cooked it (omitting the greens). And it was fabulous. And here it is.
One pot of this stuff made about 6 servings and it kept for about 5 days in the fridge. Each time I warmed it up I added some more soy milk. Warning: Frank tolerates it, but doesn't really like it. But then again, he's not really a soup person, or a vegan person, or a polenta person. But man, it's my new favorite thing.