VEGAN CORN CREAM SOUP
One of my very close friends recently decided she wanted to stop eating meat so she came to me as for suggestions on where to begin. I was able to send her a long list of blogs, cookbooks, and resources for her new found dietary adventure and was very flattered to help. I try to not be preachy but my vegetarian beliefs are strong and I’m so very grateful to be used as a resource for helping others find their footing in the world of vegetarianism when they are ready. There are times where I honestly forget that my diet is any different than most Americans. I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years so the thought of ordering a steak at a restaurant never even crosses my mind.
A few quick notes about this corn soup! I used a simple cashew cream (idea courtesy of Laura’s recent soup post where she did the same thing with a tomato soup – genius!) to make the soup creamy and give it an extra boost of protein to keep you fuller longer. It was incredibly easy but you do need to keep in mind that the cashews need to soak in water overnight to get them soft enough to blend.Also, don’t throw away the cobs after you remove the kernels from them! I let the cobs simmer in the soup until almost done to achieve maximum corn flavor and to create the most delicious corn broth. Don’t skip this step in the recipe – I promise it’s worth the tiny bit of extra effort.Lastly, I used Mina’s Harissa to make this recipe spicy because I had it on hand and had been dying to try it. I highly recommend Mina’s but if you can’t find it in your supermarket then you could make your own or substitute it with other spicy ingredients (diced jalapeño, hot sauce, etc).
PREP TIME: 20 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 35 – 50 Minutes
DIETARY CONSIDERATION: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
2 cups Non-Dairy Milk
2 cups Cornmeal
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
4 Fresh Corn Cobs, Kernels Removed from Cobs
1 Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Harissa (add more if you like it extra spicy and feel free to substitute other spicy things you have on hand if harissa isn’t handy: a Diced
Jalepeno, Squirts of Sriracha, etc)
3 cups Vegetable Broth (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup Raw Cashews, soaked in water overnight
Salt / Pepper
Chives, for garnish
Stockpot or Dutch Oven
Vitamix or Blender of choice
Cornbread Croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper. Squeeze the lemon juice into the milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and milk mixture. Slowly whisk together the wet ingredients and then start incorporating the dry ingredients as you whisk until a thick batter as formed. Spread evenly in your baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Slice the bread into 1 inch squares to make them ‘croutons’. I honestly thought they were delicious just like this but if you’d like them crisper then feel free to coat with a tiny bit of olive oil and set under the broiler for a few seconds.
Corn Chowder: Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft. Next, add in the garlic, and harissa (if using) and sauté for another minute. Throw in the corn kernels, corn cobs, vegetable broth, and a little salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
While simmering, drain your cashews and then blend them with a 1/4 cup water (you may need a little more depending on how big your blender is – you want to make sure that it helps get them really creamy without making them too watery) until a smooth cream has formed.
Once the soup is done simmering, remove from heat, discard the corn cobs (or save for vegetable broth) and use an immersion blender to puree the soup (I like a little texture in my soup so I left it a little chunky but that is completely your call). Next, stir in the cashew cream and return back to heat. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes and season with salt / pepper.
Top with fresh chives and cornbread croutons.