Turn fresh sweet summer corn into a sunny and satisfying soup with this vegan corn chowder!
Corn chowder. The latest victim of the vegan coconut milk craze! What if I told you (and showed you) that creamy vegan corn chowder doesn’t need to use or taste like coconut at all? In fact, it can be made with the most basic of ingredients, and is very very close to being a one pot meal…
In making my classic clam-free vegan chowder, I utilized a sneaky blended base of cashews, potatoes, and beans. BUT, it’s almost summer now, and I know we’re all starting to not want to huddle over the stove cooking separate pans and then combining them.
Thankfully, fresh corn has an inherent creaminess and starchiness to it that, when harnessed properly, gives us an equally delicious and satisfying, creamy dairy-free base with a lot less work.
I like my vegan corn chowder a little spicy – it balances out the corn’s sweetness. Just reduce the red pepper flakes if you need to.
Potatoes in corn chowder are a must, and I highly recommend Yukon golds because they help keep your vegan corn chowder a nice bright golden color. You can use red potatoes to equally delicious effect, just note the color may get more muddled.
My one last trick – and it’s an important one – is to simmer the de-kerneled (is that a word?) corn cobs in the soup along with the rest of the ingredients. It’s obviously not meant to be eaten, but infuses your chowder with even more corn flavor, not unlike adding a bay leaf or something else that you’d retrieve and discard later.
Hope you enjoy this easy and awesome sunny vegan corn chowder!
Vegan Corn Chowder
Deceptively simple ingredients turn into a magical, creamy vegan corn chowder that everyone will love!
- 4 ears corn (equals about 2.5 cups of kernels)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow or white onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups diced Yukon gold potato (from 5 baby potatoes or 3 regular sized)
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika (use mild paprika if sensitive to spice or if hot paprika unavailable)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp cognac or brandy (optional, to deglaze)
- 1 tbsp miso (optional)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 and 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened cashew milk (or other plain, unflavored non-dairy milk of choice)
- salt to taste
Prep your corn by removing the husks. Scrape off the kernels into a bowl, scraping close to the cob. Reserve the corn cobs and discard the husks.
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds.
Stir in the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and diced potatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. If using, deglaze the pan by adding the cognac and stirring well, scraping around the bottom.
Add the miso if using, vegetable broth, corn kernels, and whole corn cobs (these help infuse even more corn flavor). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Stir in the cashew milk and cook until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup, or transfer 2 cups of the soup to your food processor or blender, blend until smooth, and return to the pot. Serve hot.
Looking for more creative corn recipes? I’ve got you covered!