Corn chowder is the perfect soup for days that are cooling down, but fresh summer corn still abounds. This soup is a staple for fall and winter (and frozen corn works just as well when corn is not in season).
Most plant-based corn chowders have coconut milk in them. While that is really yummy and creamy, I wanted to create a lighter version, and one without the coconut flavor. This recipe has you blend up half the soup for that thickness, skipping the extra calories and saturated fat of coconut milk. It’s so flavorful you don’t even miss it the extra fat. However, if you wanted to use some coconut or cashew milk to make it richer, go for it.
Let’s Talk about that Bacon….
There are lots of ways to make plant-based “bacon.” Coconut bacon is a super fast and easy way to do it, and it’s so crunchy and delicious! My kids have never had real bacon, so I wondered what they would think of smoky coconut….but of course they loved it and hardly had any soup with their “bacon.” It only takes a few minutes to mix together and I highly recommend it. You can even make it several days or even weeks in advance. Maybe just keep some on hand for topping this season’s soups? You can find large flaked coconut chips at most grocery stores in the baking aisle, or order it here (affiliate link).
A delicious and light soup full of produce and delicious textures.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1.5 lbs red or yukon gold potatoes, diced (about 2.5 cups)
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups almond milk (unsweetened and unflavored)
- 1 jalepeno, sliced
- cilantro, chopped
- 2 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups unsweetened large flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 325.
Stir soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and paprika together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut and toss gently until well-coated.
Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silcone baking mat.
Put the pan in the oven and set timer for 5 minutes, then stir, set for 5 more minutes, and then stir again, for a total of 15 minutes. Move the flakes in the middle of the pan to the outer edges each time. It should look darker and be crispy. Let cool completely. Stores well for several weeks in an airtight container.
Prep all the veggies and have them ready to go by the stove.
In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion. When the bottom of the pot starts to brown, add a splash of water to deglaze the pot.
Add the carrots, celery, red pepper, and potatoes. Stir and cook, adding small splashes of water as needed, for about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and spices and cook a few more minutes to waken the flavors.
Add the corn and vegetable broth. Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes. Stir in almond milk and let simmer about 10 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender.
Use an immersion blender to blend half the soup so it's thicker and creamy. Or, ladle half the soup into a blender and carefully blend, then pour back into the soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with some cilantro, jalepeno, and lots of coconut bacon.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for about 5 days, or it can be frozen.