Superb Sweet Potato Poblano Corn Chowder (Plant Based, Vegan + Oil-Free and GF Options)
It’s Cozy Eating Season ™, and my Superb Sweet Potato and Poblano Corn Chowder is the perfect seasonally transitional recipe. It’s warm and filling, with the sweetness and creaminess of sweet potato, the light verdant spice of poblano peppers, and the sweet pop of fresh-off-the-cob corn. This rich and velvety soup really hits the spot in this cozy bubble of time between the intense summer heat and the harsh winter chill.
This recipe was the second recipe I developed for our friends’ corn harvest party. The last recipe I shared was my “Easy 6 Minute Sweet Corn Risotto and Corny Vegan Arancini with Calabrian Chili Aioli”. Both are great for an easy dinner in, but they’re also both elevated enough to impress your friends and family.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Sweet potatoes – Flavor, texture, richness… Sweet potatoes do so much for this soup. When I initially tested and made this recipe, I used bright orange sweet potatoes (maybe even yams?). However, when it came time to film and photograph the recipe, I only had white-fleshed sweet potatoes on hand. Either will work, but the orange variety definitely serves that sweet potato vibe and contrasts nicely with the red and green peppers.
- Corn – This recipe was created for a party that some friends were throwing to celebrate their home-grown corn crop. I was so excited to use garden fresh corn, and I think it really made the recipe. However, I’m the first person to use frozen corn over fresh, so if that’s all you’ve got then go for it. Having the cobs helps to develop the corn flavor in the soup, but you’ll still have a great chowder without them.
- Poblano peppers – I love the flavor and the subtle heat of poblano peppers. They add a great contrast to the sweet potatoes and corn, and they are truly an important aspect of the overall flavor of this chowder. If you can’t find them, then green bell pepper would work. The flavor won’t be quite the same, but it’ll add the verdant pepper flavor that this dish needs.
- Red bell pepper – As both a contrast in color and flavor to the poblano peppers, the red bell peppers really help to add a nice pop to this soup. When filming the video, I didn’t have one on hand, so I used a *carrot to help add that sweetness and color.
- Onion and garlic- Can you cook a savory dish without them? Shallots would be amazing as well
- Green onion – I love the fresh onion flavor and pop of color that green onion adds. Leave a bowl on the side for your guests to add their own, or stir in a handful at the end just before serving.
- Olive oil or vegan butter – A little fat in the pan in the beginning helps to develop the flavor of the onion and peppers. This chowder could easily be made oil-free by simply omitting it.
- All purpose flour – Though the sweet potato does a decent job of thickening up this soup, the addition of flour really helps to serve that “chowder” vibe. To make this GF, you could use your favorite gluten-free flour blend, or just omit the flour completely. The soup won’t be as thick, but it will still be rich and full of flavor.
- Vegan chicken broth – I live for a vegan bouillon like Better Than Bouilon’s No Chicken flavor. I also love Totole’s granules that also happen to be vegan. Your favorite vegetable broth or bouillon would work as well. Just make sure to season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Nutritional yeast – Normally used to give a cheesy flavor to vegan foods, nutritional yeast is a powerhouse of nutrition and it’s pact with savory umami. It doesn’t make this chowder taste cheesy, necessarily. However it does add a nice richness and depth to the soup. If you don’t have it, you could omit it, and just season to taste.
- Full-fat coconut milk – This recipe was inspired by a potato and corn chowder that called for adding heavy cream at the end. To make it not only vegan, but to up the flavor of the soup, I decided to use coconut milk instead. The full-fat variety, or even coconut cream are best when it comes to creating that creamy texture. If you’re not a fan of coconut milk, or just don’t want to add it, then you can just omit it.
- Stock pot or dutch oven – This recipe makes at least 6 servings, so you need a large stock pot or dutch oven. The bigger the better so you don’t have to worry about accidentally overflowing it.
- Immersion blender – Part of the chowder gets blended up to add thickness and richness to the body of the chowder. Immersion blenders make things a lot easier because you can just immerse the blender, and let it go until you’ve achieved your desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you’ll just need to carefully blend about half of the chowder in a conventional blender, and then return it to the pot.
Sweet Potato Poblano Corn Chowder
This Sweet Potato and Poblano Corn Chowder is the perfect seasonally transitional recipe. It’s cozy and filling, with the sweetness and creaminess of sweet potato, the light verdant spice of poblano peppers, and the sweet pop of fresh-off-the-cob corn.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ to ½ cup all purpose flour*
- 6 cups vegan chicken broth
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- Black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 ½ to 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- 2 ears of corn kernels removed (about 2 cups), cobs reserved
- ¾ to 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the oil, onion, peppers, and garlic. Sautee on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the veggies begin to soften and sweat, but not brown. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add stock, nutritional yeast, sweet potato, and reserved corn cobs. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
Using an immersion blender (or carefully remove 3 cups of the soup and blend it completely), blend the soup until it gets a bit ruddy in color, but there are still large bits of pepper and sweet potato remaining. Add corn kernels and coconut milk. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in green onion and taste for seasoning. Serve warm.
*Note: The chowder will thicken once it has chilled. If serving it immediately, use ½ cup of flour to thicken the soup more. If planning on serving it reheated, ¼ cup will be enough.
Have you tried freezing this chowder? Will the coconut milk separate?
I haven’t tried, but I know folks who have. The coconut milk stays as it was. No separation as long as it doesn’t get scalded upon reaheating.
I love, love, love your YouTube channel and recipes. I made this chowder tonight. I followed the recipe except I added juice from lime at the end, thought it needed some acid, and some sriracha for a little heat. I also added some baby spinach just before because gotta have my greens. I topped the chowder with some cilantro, red cabbage, and broccoli sprouts. The bowls were beautiful and delicious. I fairly new to WFPB. My husband said it is the best thing I’ve made so far. Thank you.
Thanks so much for the love! And I love what you did to the soup! I never make the same dish twice, because I’m always making it work with what I’ve got, or tailoring the recipes to fit me cravings or needs a the time. We eat with our eyes first, so I’m so glad you made it pretty!