This hearty and satisfying soup is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a perfect meal for any time of the day and any time of year. It's a great meal for batch cooking and a nutritious and satiating option for weight loss and maintenance.
Corn chowder is a classic American soup that can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side. This comforting soup is usually made with heavy cream and bacon, but it can be easily adapted to a healthy plant-based corn chowder for a creamy, flavorful, and healthy soup.
Why is it a "Healthy" Plant-Based Corn Chowder?
Healthy Plant-Based Corn Chowder is a creamy soup made with sweet corn kernels, potatoes, onions, and other vegetables. It's served hot and garnished with fresh herbs minus the crumbled bacon from traditional corn chowder.
It's made with non-dairy milk (coconut or almond), which is lower in saturated fat and often fortified with vitamins and minerals. The soup is also lower in calories than the traditional recipe and satiating, making it a healthy and nutritious option for weight loss and maintenance.
- Onion, carrots, and celery
- Garlic cloves - Use a mortar and pestle to mash your garlic for ultimate garlic flavor. It releases more flavor from the garlic than a garlic press or mincing by hand. It's also easier than cleaning a garlic press.
- Potatoes - Use starchy potatoes like Russett potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. These potatoes have a higher starch content, which helps to thicken the chowder and create a creamy texture.
- Thyme and cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels - Frozen fire-roasted corn is great in this recipe.
- Vegetable broth - I highly recommend using the concentrated vegetable base for the best flavor.
- Coconut milk - you can use coconut cream for a thicker, creamier soup, but the soup will be higher in calories and fat for those watching their intake. It will also have a noticeable coconut flavor. You can use oat or almond milk for an even lower-calorie soup. Do not use the coconut milk from the carton. It is too thin.
- Fresh parsley or chives - chopped (for garnish)
- Croutons (optional) - Try Homemade Croutons for an easy, fast, and healthy option.
How to Make Easy, Healthy Plant-Based Corn Chowder
Sauté the vegetables
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Heat a small amount of vegetable broth or water if you're oil-free. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, spices, and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broth and corn
Add the vegetable broth and corn kernels to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. (Time will depend on how big you cut the potatoes)
Blend the soup
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth, creamy, or desired consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can also use a regular blender, but be careful not to overfill it with hot liquid.
Add the coconut milk
Add the can of coconut milk to the pot and stir well until incorporated.
Adjust the seasoning and serve
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve hot with crusty bread, croutons, or crackers.
Tips and Variations
I love to add summer squash to this dish for variety. Just sauté when you add the onions and veggies to this recipe.
Add more heat to the soup by increasing the cayenne pepper or adding chopped jalapeño or red pepper flakes.
For a creamier soup, use full-fat coconut milk but watch for more calories and fat.
- Crusty bread: Serve some warm, crusty bread on the side to soak up the creamy chowder.
- Rice: My husband loves to add brown rice as a base to this soup for an even heartier and more filling soup.
- Salad: A fresh salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado would provide a nice contrast to the richness of the chowder. Or try a vegan Caesar salad or Greek salad.
- Grilled cheese sandwich: A classic grilled cheese sandwich would complement the corn chowder nicely. Try using sourdough bread and vegan cheddar cheese for a delicious meal.
- Biscuits: Easy Vegan Biscuits are another great serving option with corn chowder. They're perfect for dipping and sopping up the soup.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus would add texture and flavor to the meal.
- Serve in bread bowls: Hollow out small, round loaves of bread and ladle the hot chowder inside for a fun and delicious presentation.
- Top with crispy tempeh bacon: Sprinkle some crispy tempeh bacon bits or store-bought vegan bacon on top of the chowder for added flavor and texture.
- Serve with crackers: For a crunchy element, serve the chowder with oyster or saltine crackers on the side.
You can use liquid smoke or smoked paprika to add some smoky flavor to your vegan corn chowder. You can add some sautéed mushrooms or tempeh bacon for a similar flavor.
Yes, you can make corn chowder ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, warm it on the stove or in the microwave.
Just let it cool down to room temperature and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you're ready to eat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stovetop.
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 large carrot (~140 g or 1 cup)
- 3 stalks celery (~80 g or ½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic (use fresh for the best flavor)
- 2 cups potatoes (diced)
- 2 teaspoons thyme (dried)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more for extra heat)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can coconut milk (14 oz can; use coconut cream for extra thickness; use oat or almond milk as lower calorie and fat alternative)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil or veggie broth over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add the potatoes and spices and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the corn kernels and vegetable broth to the pot and stir well to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Time will depend on how big you diced your potatoes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add coconut milk to the soup and stir until well combined. Season with more salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve the vegan corn chowder hot, garnished with fresh croutons, parsley, or cilantro if desired.
Nutrition facts are only an estimate. Use a nutrition calculator like Cronometer or My Fitness Pal for more accurate estimations.
Use oat or almond milk for an even lower-calorie and fat soup.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- Calories: 170
- Sugar: 5
- Sodium: 699
- Fat: 6
- Saturated Fat: 0.1
- Carbohydrates: 26
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 4
Keywords: corn, healthy meal, quick meals, weight-loss