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Deliciously creamy, super easy to prepare, and ready in just 40 minutes, my vegan corn chowder is perfect for anyone who avoids dairy. It's also gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, and you can use your favorite vegetable milk. It is the perfect soup for everyone!
As soon as the weather warms up, I get a lot of corn on the cob in my veggie bag, and it always takes me back to when we lived in Transylvania; We had so much sweet corn that we couldn't go on! I really enjoy corn on the cob, especially barbecued on the barbecue, but I really don't want to eat it until it comes out of my ears!
Our freezer in Băița was small, so I froze some of the corn and made lots of soup (mostly Asian) with the rest. This simple vegan corn chowder was the one I experimented with, a lot, and have made many, many times since. It never ceases to remind me of those happy days in our Transylvanian village!
Is fresh or frozen corn better?
Although you can use fresh sweet corn to make soup, freezing it is much faster and much more convenient. However, you can use fresh if you prefer. Or even canned.
By using frozen sweet corn in this easy corn chowder, you can enjoy those sweetly succulent little golden gems in a jiffy. Don't waste time pulling fresh corn from the cob (and cleaning the rogue kernels from every nook and cranny of your home for the next few months), just toss the corn in a pan with a handful of other ingredients and voila – corn chowder at the table 40 minutes later!
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What is corn soup?
American readers probably know this, but many of my British readers may not know it. You can continue and skip the following paragraphs! 😛
The name, soup, is most likely a corruption of chaudrée, a hearty fish soup from the west coast of France. I have always had the impression that a soup is simply a thick soup, made with milk or cream, and that it often contains seafood; however, I have recently been told that it is generally thickened with ground or crushed cookies. A quick review of Wikipedia tells me that hardtack (boat biscuits) was traditionally used, which would totally agree with soup made with fish or shellfish. However, I am not convinced that the dairy element is traditional for anyone who is not a landowner, so I suppose that in the sea, the soup would be prepared with some kind of broth or fish broth.
Corn chowder originates from New England and, to my knowledge, it first appeared in a Boston cookbook in the late 19th century. The recipe included potatoes and salted pork, as well as crackers. If the cookies were added for a bit of volume or because making a roux to thicken soups and stews wasn't a thing in New England, I don't know. Or maybe people just took the seafood recipe and made it at home, hence the crackers. Dairy, in the form of butter and cream, had become popular additions in the early 1900s. Naturally, being vegan corn chowder, there are no dairy, fish, or pork. (Ever to say the obvious, me!)
By the way, I am not making any claims about the authenticity of this soup; It's something I had several times in restaurants many years ago, and I based my recipe on what I remember about it. If this offends any of my American readers … just consider it as a reward for all the crimes your people have committed against Thai and Italian foods. Haha! 😉
#I'm sorry, I'm not sorry
Make vegan soup
The secret to this soup is to make a soffritto first, so that your vegetable broth is infused with even more flavor, then, once the soup is cooked, mix a little until smooth and creamy, and return to the pan, before adding milk and corn. Making soup this way means you get all the thickness and a creamy-tasting goodness, without the added fat and calorie burden of using a ton of cream and butter.
I use Oatly for this soup because it is so creamy. The barista (gray cardboard) or all original (blue cardboard) are the best. Occasionally we have a shortage of oats around here, so I'll use unsweetened soy milk or my homemade cashew milk. However, my first choice is oatmeal.
I like to add a pinch of smoked paprika when serving, but this is completely optional; Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) also works very well, as does sweet or spicy paprika. You don't have to put extra corn kernels and parsley on top, but I think it looks good and is a little more appetizing than plain corn chowder. Also, parsley gives it a little more flavor.
If you like my corn chowder recipe, check out these other vegan soups!
Easy Vegan Corn Soup
- without gluten
- soy free
- no nuts
Although this really could be a meal in its own right, I do like to eat it with a piece of crisp fresh bread. Because carbohydrates are everything, right?
Easy Vegan Corn Soup
Deliciously creamy, super easy to prepare, and ready in just 40 minutes, my vegan corn chowder is perfect for anyone who avoids dairy. It also does not contain gluten, nuts or soy, and you can use your favorite vegetable milk. It is the perfect fall soup for everyone!
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Cook time: 40 minutes.
Total time: 50 minutes
Marks (slide to adjust): 4
For the soffritto
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large celery stalk, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon smoked sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
For the rest of the soup
1 liter of vegetable broth
500 g of mealy potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
500 g of sweet corn
250 ml of oatmeal or your favorite vegetable milk
Make the soffritto
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and fry the onion over medium heat for a few minutes, until it starts to become translucent.
Add the celery, carrot, bay leaf, and rosemary, and continue to fry for another 5-7 minutes, until the carrot begins to soften.
Add garlic and fry for a couple more minutes, until the raw garlic smell is gone.
Lower the heat to low, stir everything well, then gently cook for another 5 minutes.
Season soffritto with smoked sea salt and white pepper.
Prepare the rest of the soup
Remove the bay leaf and rosemary, and add the vegetable stock and potatoes to the pan. Stir well, cover, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil.
Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are soft.
Place half of the soup in a blender jar, along with half of the sweet corn. Blend until smooth and creamy. Return to the pan.
Add the rest of the sweet corn and oat milk, stir well and heat for 5 minutes or so.
Serve in bowls, topped with a few extra corn kernels, a pinch of paprika, and a few torn parsley leaves.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze the soup before adding the vegetable milk, which should be added when reheating.
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