When the farmer's market is full of beautiful corn, I make vegan corn chowder. Not only is this vegan corn chowder recipe one of my favorites, but it's oil-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. So, even though the temperature is still in the high 90's in Arizona, I love soup all year round. And, I often make corn chowder when the corn is fresh and cheap and double the recipe to freeze for those chilly winter nights months from now.
Today, corn on the cob was five for a dollar, so on days like today, making inexpensive plant-based food is all about what vegetables are in season. So, since potatoes are always cheap, and corn is even cheaper, I figured I should make a vegan corn chowder 'on the cheap.'
As a main dish or a cup of chowder on the side for a salad or sandwich, this vegan corn chowder recipe tastes savory and sweet with an incredible flavor from the combination of spices, fresh ginger, and lemongrass.
This soup warms well in the microwave or stays hot in a thermos for those who pack lunches.
How to make vegan corn chowder
First, I love corn cooked on the grill! Slightly charred corn brings an added smokiness to the chowder. I also love the fact that corn can be grilled beforehand and still keeps its smokey flavor.
But, grilled corn is optional for this vegan corn chowder recipe. Frozen corn or drained can work well with this recipe as well.
Vegan corn chowder ingredients
- White or yellow onion
- Fresh ginger
- Lemongrass paste, or fresh lemongrass (removed after cooking)
- Corn or the cob, or canned or frozen corn,
- Organic vegetable broth
- Nutritional yeast
- Baking potatoes,
- Red pepper flakes (omit if sensitive to heat)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Plant-based milk (I used oat milk)
- Roma tomatoes, diced
- Kale, chopped
- Reserved grilled corn
- Green onions plus chives
Different Cooking Options (Crock Pot, Instant Pot, and Stovetop Directions)
Secondly, I truly love my crockpot. In fact, when I taught school, I used the crockpot at least twice a week.
Although many people prefer the Instant Pot, my Crock-Pot never disappoints. Regardless of my preference, I provided Instant Pot and stovetop cooking instructions to make preparation easier.
Also, I posted two possible options for the corn chowder; eat it as is, or take a couple of cups of soup and blend to add back into the chowder to make it thick and creamy.
Again, the soup is oil-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, so the vegetable provides the ticker option for the soup, using the potatoes and corn as the thickeners.
How to thicken the soup without using nuts
To thicken the vegan corn chowder, add the plant milk to the chowder at the end of cooking. Next, if you desire a thicker soup, puree a couple of cups of soup in a blender and stirring them back into the pot.
What do I add to the vegan corn chowder to make it cheesy?
Nutritional yeast supplies the "cheesy' taste, but if you don't prefer nutritional yeast, the soup tastes great without it.
What can I use instead of liquid smoke?
Smoked paprika is the perfect substitute for liquid smoke.
Can I use canned or frozen corn in corn chowder?
Yes; use canned or frozen corn to substitute for grilled corn
As for those of you who meal prep, one crockpot, Instant Pot, or pot full of vegan corn chowder feeds you all week long.
- Another way to thicken the soup without blending for adding nuts, it to blend 2 Tablespoons of flour, corn starch, or arrowroot powder with eh plant milk before stirring into the soup. This will thicken the soup without removing any soup from the pot.
- Do not add the tomatoes, plant milk, or kale until about 10 minutes before serving.
- When freezing soup, measure out individual servings in solo cups and transfer them into a freezer-safe container.
- Thaw soup completely before reheating
- Keep garnish separate and do not freeze in corn chowder
- For a smokey version of the soup, add 3 teaspoons of liquid smoke or 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Use a vegetable chopper to cut onions and potatoes into equal-sized pieces. This is a huge time saver.
- If chopping vegetables ahead of time, place diced potatoes in water to prevent browning. Drain before adding to the recipe.
- The red pepper flakes are optional because they are spicy. If you are sensitive to spice, begin with a small amount and taste before adding more to the recipe. Remember, you can add spice easier than removing it.
- When using lemongrass sticks instead of paste, cutting the stalk in half lengthwise before adding to the soup releases more flavor. Remember, however, to remove the sticks before serving.
Looking for great vegan soups full of vegetables and savory flavors?
- Vegetable Soup with Beans
- How to Make Thick & Creamy Vegetable Soup
- Cream of Broccoli Soup (Without Cheese!)
- Curried Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- Cream of Chickpea Soup Recipe
- Meatless Crockpot Split Pea Soup
- Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms
- Minestrone Soup
- How to Make Dairy-Free Yet Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂