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(Not My Mom’s) Corn Chowder

Thick, creamy, delicious corn chowder from www.thatwasvegan.com

(Ed. note: this recipe was updated January 2017!)

Corn chowder (or “chowdah”, if you hail from the Northeast!) was my mom’s signature dish. Well, that and cheesecake… but growing up the chowder was my absolute favorite, and when she’d make it, I’d eat at least 2 huge bowls for dinner. Her version had corn and potatoes, just like mine does, but it also had ham and velveeta. My sweet mama has since gone vegetarian so if she were to make it today she’d nix the ham, but it would probably still have that gawdawful, orange, scientific-experiment-gone-horribly-awry velveeta in it. (Updated: The recipe now includes an optional 3 slices of vegan cheddar, just to make the soup a little richer. Still totally delicious without it, though!)

Of course, if you knew my mom you’d also know that she really doesn’t cook anymore- an ironic twist because she now has the most amazing kitchen I’ve ever seen. I suspect she just doesn’t want to get it dirty. But, being the wonderful mom that she is, she’s always willing to let ME get it dirty when I visit 🙂 (Updated: Mom now lives in Denver and she COOKS!)

Thick, creamy, delicious corn chowder from www.thatwasvegan.com

So this is my homage, if you will, to the corn chowdah of my youth.  A healthier, more compassionate version that still makes me want bowl after bowl… and none of the ingredients were created in a lab! In another healthy twist, I did away with the roux,  saving us all some calories, and I got the idea to add more vegetables to it from a “Healthy Vegan Cooking” class I attended at Whole Foods.  It’s not as thick as I remember the non-version being, but the blending step does make it nice and creamy. I make this 4-5 times during the winter, and I get away with that heavy rotation because Jason really likes it too. Serve it with some crusty bread or on it’s own- it’s satisfying either way. It also reheats nicely for workday lunches.

Okay! Get out your immersion blender and let’s make some chowder!

(Not My Mom's) Corn Chowder
Serves 4
Thick and creamy corn chowder, (almost) like my mom used to make!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 3 tablespoons earth balance
  2. 1 small sweet onion, diced
  3. 4 tablespoons flour
  4. 2 cups veggie broth, 1 cup water
  5. 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped bite-sized
  6. 3 stalks celery, sliced
  7. 1 large carrot, grated
  8. 12 oz bag frozen corn
  9. 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  10. 1.5 teaspoons sea salt, more to taste
  11. Salt & pepper to taste
  12. 2-3 slices vegan cheddar cheese, optional
  1. Melt earth balance in a soup pot over medium/high heat. Add the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour mixing well with the margarine, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the broth and water until the roux dissolves, and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and celery, and simmer covered for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the potatoes to be *almost* soft enough.
  3. Remove from heat and add the corn. Use your immersion blender to blend about half the soup.
  4. Return to low heat and stir in the milk and salt, and the cheese (if you're using it). Taste and add more S&P to taste.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Eddie February 9, 2012, 11:01 am

    That looks and sounds so delicious.

    • Barb February 9, 2012, 3:54 pm

      … and perhaps a bit healthier than what you’ve been eating 😉

  • Vegan Thyme (Kelly) February 9, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Okay, this looks and sounds so yummy! I laughed at the v-cheese story. Too funny.
    I have also considered it a dozen or so times–taking a WF class. Glad to hear you went and liked it.

    • Barb February 9, 2012, 3:55 pm

      You know, I only took that one. It was interesting but the setup wasn’t entirely conducive, in my opinion. I think they’re great for folks that are interested in going vegan, or just starting out and aren’t really sure what they should be eating.

  • Reia February 9, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I love that your recipes are so easy to make. I was wondering what I was going to make for dinner tonight and this post solved the problem! Prefect for a chilly night.

    • Barb February 9, 2012, 3:54 pm

      Why thank you! If you make it, let me know how it turns out… and if Robert likes it!

      • Reia February 9, 2012, 7:45 pm

        Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm! This was so yummy, and Robert had 2 bowls so I think he liked it! I just wish I had an immersion blender so I would have to drag out the big blender.

  • Hannah (BitterSweet) February 9, 2012, 5:43 pm

    This is beyond perfect. I am absolutely making this tomorrow, no excuses! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • luminousvegans February 9, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Yes, this looks delicious and easy. I’ve never had corn chowder even pre-vegan, but I’ll have to try this one out b/c it looks great!

  • Barb February 10, 2012, 7:11 am

    Hannah and Luminous: Thank you so much! If you make it, I hope you enjoy it!

    Reia: I never had one either… this is actually the one kitchen tool that Jason brought into the relationship- how funny is that? 🙂

  • Mary September 19, 2012, 4:10 am

    I must start this by saying when I renovated my kitchen starting last November I was a carnivore. Fast forward ten months to the day my gas range was lit for the first time. I became a vegan overnight when I read The China Study for obvious health reasons five months ago and no longer had my “go to” recipes. i was waiting for inspiration to start cooking again. YOU inspired me with this recipe and I was impressed by the flavor and consistency of this chowder. It was my first home cooked dish on my new range. Thanks so much for your wonderful blog and making a great “memory” in my new home.

    • Barb September 19, 2012, 1:03 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words! When I first started this blog I had no idea if anyone would even read it, so to know that I’m helping to inspire a new “generation” of vegans means the world to me! Congrats on the new kitchen AND on the healthy new way of eating 🙂

  • Lifakyn November 6, 2014, 2:37 pm

    Such a simple weeknight dinner option! Do you use culinary coconut milk, or the coconut milk beverage for this soup?

    • Barb November 6, 2014, 3:35 pm

      The beverage kind!

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