Street Corn Chowder
Updated: Aug 4
Corn is in peak season so we're revisiting a fan favorite, our Creamy Mexican Corn Chowder, and doing a Grilled Street Corn version that is gonna knock your socks off! Pre-grilling the corn and adding some street corn flavorings brings a welcome complexity to this dish.
Traditional Mexican street corn is smothered in mayonnaise and sour cream, then sprinkled with chili spices and fresh lime juice. We've eliminated the dairy in our version by adding a simple vegan sour cream that is so delicious you may be using this in all your recipes going forward. Finished with a delicate touch of chili spices, we think this will be your new summer go-to!
Corn is one of the biggest GMO crops in the U.S. but that refers to feed corn, as opposed to sweet corn, which is generally considered safe from pesticides and even #2 on the Environmental Working Group's Clean 15 list. There is concern, however, that it may be cross pollinating with neighboring GMO crops and there is even some evidence to show pesticide residue. If you're interested in reading more about this complex and important topic, here is a good article: https://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/#more-153
Sweet Corn is a complex carbohydrate and an excellent fuel for athletes. It's low in fat, high in fiber, protein, vitamins (including B6) and minerals (including thiamin, niacin, magnesium and iron).
This soup is also rich in protein, with creaminess that comes from almonds and cashews, which also boast a host of vitamins, minerals and healthy fat.
All that and so delicious!!!
All you need is a handful of ingredients:
6 ears corn
raw slivered almonds
nutritional yeast (optional)
Street Corn Chowder
· 6 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
· ½ lime
· 1 cup diced yellow onion (about ½ medium)
· 4 cups corn stock, vegetable broth or water
· ½ cup vegan sour cream (recipe below)*
· 2 tsp smoked paprika, divided
· 2 tsp chili powder, divided
· ¼ tsp cayenne
· Sea salt
· Lime slices, reserved corn, jalapeno slices, cilantro, optional for garnish
1) Heat a cast iron pan or a grill. Rub corn with fresh lime slices and sprinkle with 1 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp chili powder. Add to pre-heated grill. If using a cast iron pan (preferably with grill lines), add a little water to all the corn to steam while it grills. This will prevent the corn from drying out. If you are using an outdoor grill or BBQ, use a spray bottle with water or place a pot of water inside the BBQ and close to allow the corn to steam in the moisture while it grills. Allow about 3-5 minutes per side (assuming 2 sides) or until the corn is just tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2) Once the corn is cool enough to handle, lay the ears down flat on a cutting board and slice the kernels off lengthwise. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs to remove extra sweet corn juice and any leftover bit of kernels. Place the kernels and scraped corn in a large bowl and set aside.
3) To make the corn stock, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the stripped corn cobs, return to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer at a low boil for 40 minutes. Remove from heat, discard cobs, and pour through a strainer to remove any leftover corn bits. You can also use plain water or broth but this will influence the flavor.
4) To make the chowder, heat a large stock pot, add a little corn broth and onion. Allow the onion to cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add corn kernels (reserving about ½ an ear for garnish), vegan sour cream, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chili powder, cayenne and sea salt, and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, just until the flavors come together. Taste and adjust spices if needed.
5) When cool enough, place 2/3 of the soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until not quite smooth. Add the mix back to the pot and stir.
6) Serve garnished with lime slices, reserves corn minced jalapeno, cilantro (or use a variety of chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley) if desired. You can also top with a little Tajin seasoning (although this product does contain an anti-caking agent).
* The vegan sour cream adds to the creaminess and flavor profile of the soup. We did not test it this way but if you want an alternative, you can try adding 1/3 cup of a neutral flavored white beans (such as cannelini) OR the same amount of full-fat coconut milk and a touch more lime juice.
Easy Vegan Sour Cream
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup water
2 TB fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast, optional
1 acidophilus capsule, optional
1) Quick-soak the almonds and cashews in very hot (not boiling) water for 15 minutes, until softened. Drain and rinse.
2) Add all ingredients to a small food processor or a high-speed blender (I find a food processor works better for this recipe). Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
3) Store leftovers in fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to one month.
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