Hearty and healthy veggie-packed vegan corn chowder. Blended up corn, potato, and coconut milk make the chowder base for this super delicious meal!
Mmmmmmmm choooooowdah! Who doesn’t love a big steamy bowl of creamy, salty, sweet, chunky, cozy corn chowder?
Up until recently, me of all people!
Confession: I used to be the biggest of chowder naysayers that ever did live. When I was little, my siblings would go wild over the clam-chowder-in-a-bread-bowl situation, especially when we visited San Francisco. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the stuff turned my stomach in knots…until…
Flash forward a couple decades, and come to find out it was because the cream and gluten content of the soup made me feel like Punnany McGeester. Too much cream and gluten for this girl = bellyache = bad mood juju. Even the slightest whisper of the word, “choooowdaaaaah” wrecked havoc on my digestive tract.
A few years ago, one of my brothers started making his own clam chowder, complete with bacon and potatoes for hearty splendor, but with a thinner (not roux-based) consistency and less cream. Not only could I enjoy his homemade clam chowder without feeling sick, but it inspired me to work my own magic in the substitutions department. Nothing like a big brother to draw you a map to the Eightfold Path of Chowder Enlightenment.
As it turns out, you don’t need cream, butter, and flour in order to make chowder. You can replace regular flour with a gluten-free all-purpose blend, use a vegan butter replacement, and/or substitute coconut milk for the cream.
As strange as it may seem in its cream-less, chicken-less, bacon-less glory, this veggie-packed dairy-free, gluten-free version of corn chowder is hands down the best batch corn chowder I’ve ever made. I know, I know…it’s hard to believe something so seemingly fun-less could be so good, but you guys, it truly is. Plus, it won’t make you curl up in a food coma and beg the chowder higher-ups for forgiveness.
The key to making this chowder sweet, thick, and creamy, is to cook one of the red potatoes and blend it with half of the cooked corn kernels and the coconut milk. This makes for a chowder-y consistency without having to tap into the butter and flour to make a roux. The other red potato gets chopped up and cooked with the veggies in order to make the soup nice and chunky and hearty. Similarly, the other half of the corn kernels go into the soup – I like keeping long strips of corn to make for the optimal big bite. I hope that all makes sense – holler at your girl if you need clarification on the prep method.
While this recipe contains no heavy cream or butter, it tastes completely rich and decadent. Like a treat soup. Chowder with benefits. Dessert chow chow. I’ll stop.
To summarize: make this corn chowder while fresh corn is still in season to keep your belly warm and satisfied on the chilly evenings.
I used the following kitchen tools to prepare this recipe:
Vegan Corn Chowder
- 4 ears corn shucked and steamed
- 2 large red potatoes peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 large white onion
- 5 cloves large garlic minced
- 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 3 large stalks celery chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper cored and chopped
- 1-½ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
Place ears of corn into a large pot and fill with water. Cover the pot with a lid and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a full boil and cook until corn is plump and juicy, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Use tongs to remove corn from the boiling water and place on a cutting board.
Chop one of the red potatoes in half and carefully place into the same pot of boiling water you used to cook the corn. Allow potato to cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
While the potato is cooking, saute the rest of the vegetables. Add the coconut oil to a large pot, along with the other diced potato, chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sea salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, and cumin. Heat to medium-high and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
Use a knife to remove the corn kernels from all of the ears of corn. Place half of the kernels in a blender, along with the cooked potato. Add the coconut milk and water (or broth) to the blender, and blend until completely smooth. This may take two or three rounds of blending.
Add the remaining corn kernels to the pot with the sauteed vegetables, and pour the blended corn/potato (chowder) mixture into the pot. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potato has softened, about 10 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and taste chowder. Add sea salt and Cajun seasoning as desired. Serve with chopped green onion.