Looking back on the Darkpocalypse of October 2019, I found my household was ill-prepared for this type of event, not to mention any greater potential disaster. Yes, it's on my to-do list now to gather our supplies, stock appropriate emergency provisions and generally be more prepared. But here's the thing: I'm fortunate to have this great circle of people who didn't hesitate to band together and make the most of those 30 or so hours without power. So, at least for this event, not only were we covered for anything we might be lacking, but we actually enjoyed it. One family hosted the first night, another couple took the next (even though the power was back on), and we gathered and enjoyed each other's company sharing stories of the craziness going on around us. From freezers slowly warming, they pulled out coconut shrimp, pizzas and corn dogs (much to all the children's delight) and threw them in their huge Wolf oven to make the main feature of the feast.
While everyone else was figuring out how to salvage their various semi-frozen meat products, I took this as an opportunity to use the potatoes languishing on my countertop and what canned goods I had available to make something vegan. Turns out I had everything I needed for coconut corn chowder. I ate two or three bowls worth and so did most of the adults. So did some of the kids, despite all those corn dogs. It was that good.
Coconut Corn Chowder
It's a personal choice whether you want to peel the potatoes or not. I didn't in this case — I was running out of daylight!
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups of vegetable stock
2 cans of coconut milk
5-6 medium potatoes, diced
1 can of kernel corn, drained
2 cups frozen sweet corn (or a second can of corn)
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 pinch dried thyme
1 pinch dried oregano
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender and translucent.
Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk, stirring well. Then add the potatoes, canned and frozen corn and green chiles.
With everything in the pot, season with salt and pepper to your liking, add a pinch of thyme and oregano, and simmer until the potato chunks are easily pierced by a fork. If you want to get fancy, you can top this with cilantro, sliced scallions or chopped jalapeños, though I don't think any of those additions are necessary for a hearty, simple soup.
When the power was back on, I remade this and, as I like a thicker soup, I removed half of the soup and pureed it before adding it back. Throw your favorite croutons or crackers on top, or dunk a chewy chunk of sourdough and enjoy.
Cheryl Churchill trained at Le Cordon Bleu and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. She prefers she/her pronouns.