This Thai Potato Corn Chowder recipe is inspired by Thai flavors like ginger, lemongrass, and coconut milk. A vegan and gluten free soup!
Is soup merely a cold-weather food? Not necessarily. Especially when it's this Potato Corn Chowder. It's full of late summer vegetables like sweet corn and potatoes and accented with fragrant lemongrass.
There's nothing like fresh lemongrass and if you manage to get your hands on some - Use it! We grew some lemongrass in a planter and I've been waiting all summer to try it out.
I love this soup because it's hearty but light, healthy, and satisfying at the same time.
This potato corn chowder is vegetarian, vegan, AND gluten free. The best word I can think of to describe this soup is dreamy.
The coconut milk gives it a luxurious creamy quality. It might be healthy but it's totally delicious!
How To Add Flavor To Potato Corn Chowder
This Thai Potato Corn Chowder is inspired by fresh flavors like ginger, lemongrass, lime, and coconut milk.
It puts a delicious twist on a classic chowder recipe!
The key to this (and any soup) are the aromatics. This is the stuff that gives soups, stews, and chowders all their flavor. The aromatics used in this recipe are garlic, onions, ginger, jalapeno peppers, and lemongrass.
I love chopping garlic and onions - I find it kind of meditative and relaxing. And the flavor they give off when they hit the pan is worth all the effort.
- Mince 6 cloves garlic, 1 small white onion, and 1-2 jalapeno peppers (wear gloves to prevent 'hot pepper hands'). Remove the seeds from the peppers for less heat. Chili peppers would work just as well.
- I prefer to grate ginger into my recipes as opposed to mincing it. I find chunks of ginger to be a little aggressive, but love the flavor overall. So, the ginger is left whole until it's time to grate.
- The potatoes can be chopped at this time as well. Chop 8-10 small red potatoes into a relatively uniform size to ensure even cooking.
- Cut the kernels off of 3 cobs of sweet corn (about 2 cups).
Can I Use Frozen Corn?
Absolutely - Frozen corn works perfectly!
Can I Use Another Type Of Potato?
Yukon Gold potatoes are a great alternative to red potatoes in this soup.
Love Asian flavors? Check out these recipes!
- Asian Ground Chicken Rice Bowls
- Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls
- Crockpot Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- Asian Grilled Chicken Wings
- Maple Sesame Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Spicy Brussels Sprouts
- Smoked Salmon Rice Bowls
What Is Lemongrass?
If you've never used lemongrass before, you're in for a treat! Lemongrass is a grassy herb that's used mainly in Asian dishes like soups and curries. It tastes kind of lemony and floral.
The lemongrass that you find in a store will likely be larger in size than what you grow at home. One stalk of store-bought lemongrass should be enough for this recipe.
I used 3-4 stalks of freshly picked lemongrass because it's much smaller in size. To use, peel off the outer fibrous layers. All the flavor is in the inner 'stalk' part of the plant.
Take the inner portion of the lemongrass and 'score' it with a knife. You basically want to bruise it to release some of the oils.
The stalk will be left whole in the soup and removed once it's finished cooking. But, feel free to whack that thing with a knife for the time being.
Where Can I Find Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is actually pretty easy to grow in the garden and can be found at most grocery stores in the produce section or in an Asian supermarket.
You can also use lemongrass paste if you can't find the fresh stuff. It can be found in the Asian section of the grocery store or online. [Keep in mind that lemongrass paste may contain dairy - Be sure to check the labels if you have food sensitivities.]
Use 2-3 tsp. of lemongrass paste in this recipe in place of the lemongrass stalks if you decide to go that route.
How Long Does It Take To Sauté The Vegetables?
Once all of that is out of the way, you can start making the chowder.
- Place a cast iron Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot on a stove top and heat to medium-high. Add 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (can use olive oil) to the pot.
- Once heated, add the minced garlic, onion, and jalapeno peppers.
- Take an inch or so of ginger (peeled) and grate into the pan with a microplane.
- Sauté the aromatics for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Once they're nice and fragrant, add the chopped potatoes along with ½ tsp. each kosher salt and pepper.
- Sauté the potatoes for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- You may need to add some vegetable stock to deglaze if the potatoes start to stick to the bottom.
How To Make Thai Potato Corn Chowder
- After the potatoes are sautéed, add 2 ½ cups of vegetable stock, the lemongrass, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt.
- Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low boil.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 10 minutes or so, add a heaping cup of coconut milk and the 2 cups of fresh corn.
- Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook uncovered for another 10-12 minutes. The starch from the corn and potatoes will thicken the chowder a bit and give you that rich consistency that you want in a chowder.
You can always add more vegetable stock to thin it out if it gets too thick for you.
Taste the soup as it cooks to adjust the salt levels. If you find it too spicy, add some sugar.
What To Serve With Corn Potato Chowder
Once the Thai Potato Corn Chowder has finished cooking, remove the lemongrass stalks. The lemongrass itself is inedible, but the flavor from the stalk will have perfumed the chowder.
The potatoes should be soft, but not mushy. The broth should be fragrant, slightly sweet, a little spicy, and a bit earthy.
Pour yourself a couple of scoops and top it off with some freshly squeezed lime. I would argue that the lime is necessary. The acidity makes all the other flavors pop.
Finish it with some chopped chives, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, or fresh herb of choice.
Love Asian flavors? Check out these recipes!
- Asian Cabbage Slaw
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with Thai Peanut Sauce
- Vietnamese Shrimp Salad
- Curried Cauliflower Potato Soup
- Thai Basil Pesto Sauce
How Long Does Potato Chowder Last In The Fridge?
This potato corn chowder should last 3-4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Be sure to allow the soup to cool completely before transferring to the fridge for storage.
Can It Be Frozen?
Yes! This soup makes a great freezer meal.
How To Freeze
- Allow the soup to come down to room temperature.
- Place in heavy-duty freezer bags, label with the date, and remove any air from the bags.
- Store in the freezer up to 3 months.
How To Thaw
- Place the container of frozen soup in the fridge for 24 hours and allow to thaw.
- Alternately, you can place the container of frozen soup in a bowl or sink full of warm water until it thaws a bit.
- Once it loosens, place the soup into a Dutch oven or soup pot, add a bit of water or vegetable broth, and heat on medium until it reaches the temperature and texture you are looking for.
Looking For More Soup Recipes? Don't Miss These!
- Cannellini Bean Kale Soup
- Winter Root Vegetable Soup
- Hearty Lentil Soup
- Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
- Chunky Italian Vegetable Soup
- Sweet Potato Kale Soup
- Potato Cauliflower Leek Soup
Love Healthy Soups? Don't Miss These Recipes!
Thai Potato Corn Chowder (Vegan)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 onion any color
- 1 inch ginger peeled
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed for less heat
- 1 stalk store-bought fresh lemongrass or 3-4 stalks freshly picked lemongrass or 2-3 tsp. of lemongrass paste
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
- 8-10 small red potatoes or Yukon Gold
- 2 cups sweet corn fresh or frozen
- 2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 heaping cup coconut milk
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt split
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 limes
- chopped chives or fresh herbs of choice for garnish optional
- Mince the garlic, onion, and jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for less heat).
- Remove outer leaves from lemongrass stalk. Score or bruise the inner portion of the stalk to release the oils.
- Chop the potatoes to a uniform size to ensure even cooking. Cut the kernels off 3 cobs of sweet corn. Set aside.
- Heat or soup pan to medium-high and add 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil.
- Once heated, add the chopped garlic, onion, and jalapeno peppers.
- Grate 1 inch piece of peeled ginger into pot with a microplane.
- Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the diced potatoes and ½ tsp. each of kosher salt and pepper to pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Deglaze pan with vegetable stock if potatoes stick when cooking.
- Add the vegetable stock, lemongrass, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes (covered), stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut milk and sweet corn.
- Reduce heat and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The starch from the corn and potatoes will help to create a 'creamy' texture.
- Remove lemongrass before serving *Lemongrass stalks are inedible*
- Serve in bowls with freshly squeezed lime wedges and chopped chives or herbs of choice (optional).