Vegan Corn Chowder

You’ll never believe this creamy soup is vegan: it has the perfect velvety texture and is full of flavor. Here’s how to make our best vegan corn chowder!

Vegan corn chowder

“WHOA.” That was my sister, who had just taken a bite of this vegan corn chowder. She said the same thing again when Alex and I mentioned it was vegan. Yes, this corn chowder has just set a new bar for vegan soup recipes. It’s so seriously creamy, with a savory undertone that seems undeniably meaty. Contrast that with the sweetness of the corn and, well, it’s pretty darn perfect. It’s similar to the corn and potato chowder in our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking: but this one is all about highlighting beautiful summer sweet corn. Keep reading for this tasty plant based dinner recipe.

Vegetarian corn chowder

How to make vegan corn chowder

How to make a vegan corn chowder, when most recipes have milk or cream? And most recipes aren’t even a vegetarian corn chowder: they also have bacon! It’s certainly a challenge to make up for all those textures and flavors, so we had to pull out our plant based tricks for this one.

What makes this vegan corn chowder creamy?

To keep this chowder dairy free, it has to use something other than milk or cream to bring body and creaminess. Here are our secrets:

  • Soaking and blending cashews. If you eat vegan or plant based, you’ve likely tried this trick: soaking cashews and then blending them makes for a creamy texture that’s oddly similar to dairy. We use this trick all the time, like in our cashew cream, vegan nacho cheese, and creamy vegan tomato soup.
  • Blending part of the soup itself. If you’re making such a beautifully flavorful soup: why not use some of the soup itself to make it creamy? In the recipe below, you’ll take out about 4 cups of the soup and blend it with the cashews to create an ultra creamy base.

How to make a vegetarian corn chowder taste savory?

Simply making this corn chowder creamy is just one element of the puzzle. Often corn chowder is cooked with bacon, which adds an intensely savory element to the soup. But how to make a both vegan and vegetarian corn chowder that has a strong enough flavor to stand up to the bacon expectation? Here are our secrets:

  • Soy sauce. Adding soy sauce adds a salty, savory umami to this corn chowder.
  • Smoked paprika. Also called pimentón, smoked paprika gives vegan and vegetarian recipes a smoky undertone.
  • Garlic. Garlic always adds a umami to meatless recipes; in this recipe we used both fresh garlic and garlic powder to make it super savory.
Vegan corn chowder recipe

How to cut corn off of the cob without making a mess

Alex and I love sweet corn recipes. However, every time I see a recipe that calls for cutting corn off the cob, I wince a little imagining the spray of flying yellow specks all over our kitchen. Cutting corn off of the cob can be a little messy, and this vegan corn chowder calls for 6 ears of corn! Here are a few ways we like to cut corn without making a mess:

  • Bundt pan method. In this method, you place the corn cob right on top of the raised center part of a bundt pan. When you slice downward, the Bundt pan catches all the corn kernels. Genius! (Here’s a video.)
  • Inverted small bowl instead larger bowl. Same method as above, but if you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can use an inverted small bowl inside a larger bowl. (Here’s a video.)
  • Mandoline. If you have a mandoline, you can use it to cut corn off the cob. It slides right off without making a mess.
Best vegan corn chowder

This vegan corn chowder recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Corn chowder

Vegan Corn Chowder


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x

Description

You’ll never believe this creamy soup is vegan: it has the perfect velvety texture and is full of flavor. Here’s how to make our best vegan corn chowder!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds (6 medium) russet potatoes
  • 6 ears corn, enough for 3 cups corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water; allow them to soak while preparing the recipe.
  2. Dice the onion and celery. Peel and dice the carrots. Place the onion, celery and carrots together in a bowl.
  3. Mince the garlic. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place them in a separate bowl. Cut the corn from the cob, saving the cobs to simmer in the soup.
  4. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the corn cobs (broken into a few pieces, if necessary to fit in the pot), vegetable broth, water, soy sauce, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then remove the cobs from the soup. 
  5. Drain the cashews. Using a 2-cup glass measuring cup with spout, carefully scoop out about 4 cups of the hot soup and place it in a blender, then add the drained cashews. Blend on high for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Return to the soup pot, then stir in the reserved corn kernels. Cook for 5 minutes until the corn is tender. Taste and the additional 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more if desired). Serve warm.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Corn Chowder, Vegetarian Corn Chowder, Corn Chowder Recipe

More corn recipes

Outside of this vegan corn chowder, we have lots of recipes using fresh corn! Here are a few of our favorite vegetarian corn recipes:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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