Dairy-Free Corn Chowder is thick and chunky with fresh corn, baby potatoes and a rich cashew cream. It’s also vegan, with a spicy kick, and topped with crunchy coconut bacon. Enjoy it as an appetizer, side dish or main meal!
For the cashew cream:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup hot water
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or nut milk of choice)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
For the coconut bacon:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut slices
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the chowder:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small Thai chili, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups no salt added vegetable broth
- 4 cups mini yellow potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
- 4 cups fresh corn (about 5 large ears), cut off the cob
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
- Optional toppings:
- fresh cilantro
- chopped Thai peppers
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Prepare the cashew cream: Add cashews and hot water to a glass dish and let sit for 30 minutes. (Use this time to get started on the coconut bacon and chowder). Once soaked, drain water and add cashews, milk, yeast and paprika to a blender. Purée until thick, smooth and creamy.
- Prepare the coconut bacon: Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and stir together. Spread out on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 7-10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. It will get crunchy as it cools.
- Prepare the chowder: In a medium-sized pot, add the oil, onion, chili and garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost cooked. Stir in the cashew cream and add the corn. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until corn is cooked to your liking.
- Serving and storing the chowder: Serve with coconut bacon and garnish with cilantro. For extra heat, top with additional chopped chilis and crushed red pepper flakes. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3-4 days. Coconut bacon can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- This is a spicy chowder. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, just use half a Thai chili, or leave it out completely.
- If you prefer your chowder a little saltier, feel free to use a broth with salt or add more salt to the chowder while cooking.
- You can use fresh, canned or frozen corn. If using canned corn, drain and cook in the chowder for about 2 minutes. If using frozen, rinse and cook in the chowder for about 5 minutes.
- For extra flavour, you can use grilled corn on the cob. Just cut it off the cob and add to the chowder just before serving.
- If you’d like to make this chowder a little less chunky while keeping it thick, just purée a ladle or two of the chowder and add it back to the pot. Or add less potato and/or more vegetable broth.
- If you don’t have yellow baby potatoes, just use full sized yellow potatoes and chop them into one-inch cubes. You can peel them or leave them un-peeled.
- When baking the coconut bacon, I find it bakes faster on a dark coloured baking sheet. So I recommend baking it for about 7 minutes on a dark pan or 10 minutes on a light pan. Regardless, keep an eye on it as it can start to burn quickly.
- Make sure you’re using smoked paprika and not regular paprika. While the two look similar, smoked paprika has a distinctly different taste, which adds unique flavour to this recipe.
Keywords: corn chowder, vegan chowder, chowder with cashew cream