Jun 20, 2014

Vegan New England Clam Chowder

Ahoy, mates! New England Clam Chowder ahead! Yup, I’m a “chowda” fan. Growing up on Long Island we had some of the world’s best clams. Every summer our family would vacation in the Hamptons where my parents, aunt and uncle would dig for those renowned Little Necks. The result was clams on the half shell, clam bakes and oodles of clam chowder.

I can say with confidence that this vegan version is pretty darn close to the traditional, velvety chowder many of us have grown to love. Using blended cashews makes it just as creamy. And the real secret to this soup is the texture from the shiitake mushroom stems. They’re slightly chewy, just like clams!


  • 2 pounds potatoes, cubed (red skins are good for this, but russets work just as well)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, diced (stems included!*)
  • 2 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBS fresh, chopped thyme
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce (optional and to taste)
  • 1 TBS sea vegetables, such as dulse flakes or kelp granules (or both)
  • ground black pepper and fresh thyme for garnish
* NOTE: When dicing the stems, be sure to discard any that are really dry. They should have a little give to them. The very ends are usually too hard and would never soften enough in the soup.


  1. Cover the potatoes in twice as much water as they take up in the pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cashews and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Place the cashews and 1 cup of water in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add a bit of the soup broth and about ⅓ of the cooked potatoes to the blended cashews and blend again until smooth. Add more soup broth if needed to blend.
  6. Add this mixture to the pot and stir well to combine.
  7. Remove bay leaves.
  8. Garnish with some freshly ground black pepper and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired.

Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

10 responses to “Vegan New England Clam Chowder”

  1. Em says:

    This was incredible! My vegetarian son could not believe it was vegan. My meat eating son said what is in this?- It is really good! My picky daughter did say it was weird and said she just liked the potatoes but did finish a bowl. I loved it and will make it again. Thanks.

  2. Helyn says:

    Aweosme, Em! Thanks for the feedback!! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am eating this right now and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you Helyn for another great recipe!!!!
    Janet in Arizona

  4. Helyn says:

    You're welcome, Janet! So happy you're enjoying the recipes! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have already make this twice. It is simply incredibly tasty and easy to put together as well. I can't tell you how much my husband loved it! Thanks!

  6. Helyn says:

    GREAT! You're welcome!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Would dried mushrooms work well in this?

  8. Helyn says:

    Yes, sure! Just soak them first to rehydrate.

  9. Willie says:

    Looks absolutely delicious.

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