Inspired by Pati Jinich's habit of adding vanilla to savory dishes, Eliah set out to see how pairing our Vanilla Salt with savory foods would work. And hence, his Latin Inspired Corn Soup was born.
Corn chowder is one of those creamy, flavorful bowls of soup that is just comforting anytime of the year. This version switches out the traditional smoky bacon flavor with the a smoked chipotle morita and cream with a plant based milk making this dish vegan. This is a simple soup to make, yet it has complex flavors. We think that once you try it, you'll want to make it again and again. You can cook along with Eliah as he creates this soup on our Facebook page!
Corn Chowder Ingredients
Corn--When corn is in season, this soup is amazing with fresh corn cut right off the cob. Other times of the year, it can be made with canned or frozen corn. When using canned corn, you will want to be careful with the amount of salt you use as canned corn is already seasoned.
Oil--In this recipe the oil is being mixed with butter to increase the smoke point of the butter, so use a neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed oil.
Butter-- If making this recipe as a vegan recipe, you will want to use a vegan butter. We really like the flavor of Miyoko's cultured vegan butter. Of course, you could also substitute oil for butter.
Chopped Onion-- Either a white or yellow onion will work. It's better to avoid sweet onions for this recipe as the corn is already sweet.
Chopped Leek-- Leeks are in the onion family, but are much milder than most onions. To prepare a leek, begin by cutting off the roots and the dark green tops (you can set the dark green tops aside and fry them until crispy for a garnish). Cut the remaining white and light green portion lengthwise--not quite cutting all the way through the white part. Rinse well, as leeks can trap dirt inside them as they grow. Pat dry and then chop. One to two leeks will be enough for this recipe.
Powdered Vegetable Stock--Making homemade vegetable stock with veggie scraps is an easy process if not always a fast process. For those times when you haven't made your own, and you want a quick alternative that isn't full of salt, our Powdered Vegetable Stock is here for you! It combines the flavors of a long-simmered stock that smells just as amazing as it tastes! Created with nutritional yeast, celery, onions, garlic, and lots of herbs, this is a balanced broth base that adds a savory flavor without overpowering other flavors.
Chipotle Morita Powder-- Chipotle Moritas are red jalapenos smoked just until they reach the texture of fruit leather. Their skins can be hard to grind, so we do that for you! With a Scoville rating of 5,000 - 10,000 units, Chipotle Moritas certainly have a bit of a kick but aren't overpowering. Along with their heat, Chipotle Morita Powder has a concentrated sweetness much like dried cherries or raisins which pairs well with the sweet corn in this recipe.
Vanilla Bean-- We used 1/2 a Madagascar Vanilla Bean in this recipe. If you haven't tried a whole vanilla bean, we highly suggest you do as there is nothing quite like vanilla from a fresh bean. But we understand the cost can sometimes be prohibitive, so as mentioned above, Vanilla Salt can work in this recipe just as well. Use Vanilla Salt when seasoning your onions and leeks and as you add your corn (if using fresh). Use the same amount as you would regular salt--tasting as you go. If using a fresh bean, you'll need to slice your bean in-half horizontally. Save that one half of bean. Cut the remaining half, vertically. You can now scrape out the interior of the bean (called the caviar). That caviar along with the actual pod is added to the soup. Remove the pod before serving.
Milk-- When creating the recipe, Eliah used coconut milk as his plant based milk. Feel free to use your favorite plant-based or dairy milk.
Salt-- Pacific Sea Salt or your favorite salt will work in this recipe. If using Vanilla Salt, no other salt is needed.
Tellicherry Peppercorns-- The sharp bite of Tellicherry Peppercorns is important in this recipe as it adds a contrast to the sweetness in the corn and Chipotle Morita Powder.
Corn Chowder Directions:
Saute onions and leeks: Over medium low heat in a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter until a droplet of water sizzles in the water and oil. Add both chopped onion and leaks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions and leeks soften.
Add corn to the leeks and onions. If using fresh corn, cook for 5 minutes. If using canned or frozen corn, cook for 2 minutes.
Create broth: The broth of this soup is created with water, powdered vegetable stock, and chipotle morita powder. Add all three to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Blend Soup: For creamy soup, blend everything until smooth. For silky soup, blend everything until smooth and then strain through a sieve. For a rustic chunky soup, blend half of soup and return that half back into pot with the rest of the unblended soup.
Finish Cooking: Bring soup back to a low simmer. Add milk and seeded vanilla and its bean pod. Taste for and adjust salt and pepper. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Enjoy with some awesome bread!