Quick Corn Soup with Coconut Milk ♥

Quick Corn Soup with Coconut Milk ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, super-quick, super-adaptable.
Wow, what a soup, just frozen corn and chopped pepper warmed in coconut milk with Thai-style spices reminiscent of the luscious tom kha gai soup, especially when adding cooked chicken. This soup is super-fast to make and super-adaptable. If it sounds like I'm gushing over all this soup, well, I am! It's been in the archives forever but I started making it again last year and can't quit!

Real Food, Fast & Flexible. Supper Substantial. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Easy Weeknight Supper. One-Pot Meal. Great for Meal Prep. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

How to Rate a Recipe

Our friend Craig rates his recipes on two scales, a balance of effort and taste.

#1 Big Effort --> Big Results = High Rating
#2 Big Effort --> Good Results = Medium Rating
#3 Little Effort --> Good Results = Medium Rating
#4 Little Effort --> Big Results = High Rating

Quick Corn Soup definitely fits #4. It takes hardly any time and effort AND is just wonderful. Plus it's so adaptable, easy to keep adding more to the soup. It just keeps getting better and better!

So What's In It?

Like all my recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

Corn Frozen corn makes up the bulk of the base soup. Could you use fresh corn? Sure. But frozen corn makes for an impromptu, cook-from-the-pantry soup and I don't know about you, but my freezer always has a package or two of Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn.

Coconut Milk & Other Milks Yep, another pantry ingredient, either regular coconut milk or light coconut milk to save some calories. The coconut milk is rich so it's supplemented by other milks, either plant-based milks or regular milk.

Plant Flavorings Onion, bell pepper and garlic add a sweetness and a savoriness to the milks. Could you use shallot or green onion? Sure. Or skip the bell pepper and garlic? Sure. This is a very adaptable soup.

Seasonings The Thai-style flavors come from curry powder plus either red or green curry paste plus the all-important salt. Did you notice? More pantry ingredients! Small jars of curry paste keep in the refrigerator for months and months.

So that's just the base soup, excellent all on its own. The coconut-corn-curry combination really works, especially with a smidgen of heat from the Thai curry paste. And it's definitely a quick soup, just 10 minutes of prep time and on the table in 25 minuts, plus way tastier than any canned soup.

But then the fun starts. There are just so many ways to supplement this soup. Now none are necessary but it's great to have the flexibility.

Add Some Protein? Cooked chicken and frozen shrimp are great. So are canned beans!
Add More Vegetables? You bet. Maybe another bag of frozen vegetables? Or perhaps some fresh spinach?

Why Use Coconut Milk in Soups?

Over the years, I've collected several recipes for soups that use coconut milk. What a variety, yes?! But why is coconut milk so popular in soup?

COCONUT MILK HAS FLAVOR! Unlike modern-day pasteurized cow's milk and even some plant-based milks, coconut milk has real flavor. It tastes like something! It's also creamy, akin to heavy cream, especially compared to other plant-based milks.
COCONUT MILK IS VEGAN Using coconut milk is one way to keep a dish entirely vegan, nothing but plant foods.
COCONUT MILK IS SHELF-STABLE Most plant-based milks keep for a few days or weeks. In contrast, you can keep coconut milk on hand in the pantry for a few years. It's so easy to keep on hand, to never run out.

Here are some more vegetable soups that call for coconut milk here on A Veggie Venture. It pairs beautifully with so many vegetables!

Do we have an extra-special favorite? You bet. Like our friend Craig, we like recipes where Little Effort --> Big Results. So yeah, call this Quick Corn Soup our favorite, at least during the cold-weather months!

Yellow Squash Coconut Soup
Paleo Carrot Soup
“Soul Food” Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk
Butternut Squash Soup with Mango & Toasted Coconut

Seasonal Cooks

You'll probably save Quick Corn Soup for the months when fresh sweet corn isn't available or is imported from somewhere south and isn't especially good. During the height of summer, of course, don't miss my Summer's Best Corn Chowder and an unusual soup that people really love, once they taste it, Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp. Oh! So good, both of these!

What Makes Quick Corn Soup So Special?

ADAPTABILITY The basic corn-curry-coconut combination really works but after that, start adding things. Canned beans. Cooked chicken. More vegetables.

SHELF-STABLE PANTRY INGREDIENTS Frozen corn, check. Coconut milk, check. Green curry paste or canned green chilies, check. After that, it's what's on hand, what sounds good. If you have fresh corn and other fresh ingredients, go for it. But for the win? To put supper on the table when the larder is empty? A bag of corn and a can of coconut milk will do.

DIET FLEXIBLITY It's easy to keep this a vegan, dairy-free soup. For a larger group, I can even imagine making two pots side by side, one vegan and one not.

QUICK-QUICK TO THE TABLE Max, 25 minutes, mostly hands off.

SO GOOD! Some days just demand hot soup. The recipe scales up and down and when there are leftovers, you won't be sorry.

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Quick Corn Soup with Coconut Milk ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, super-quick, super-adaptable.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes about 8 cups (varies with additions)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion (100g), chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon (or less) Thai green or red curry paste, stirred with a splash of water
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 cups milk (not vegan) or non-dairy milk (for vegan)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
16 ounces (450g) frozen corn

ADDITION IDEAS #1 (add these with the corn)
16 ounces (450g) another frozen vegetable (snow peas? edamame? cauliflower rice?)
Small cubes butternut squash or sweet potato
1/2 pound (225g) cooked chicken (not vegan), chopped
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, black beans or another bean
7-ounce can green chiles

ADDITION IDEAS #2 (add these after mixture comes to a boil)
1/2 pound (225) uncooked shrimp (not vegan), thawed if frozen
Fresh spinach or Chinese broccoli (gai lan)

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic as they're prepped, cook just until beginning to soften. Stir in the curry powder and Thai curry paste-water mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk, a splash at a time at first if the vegetable mixture is thick, more at a time as the mixture loosens up. Stir in the milk and salt.

Add the corn plus any Additions #1. Cover and bring to a boil.

Add any Additions #2. Return to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer for 5 minutes, making sure the shrimp is fully cooked.

GARLIC If ever there's a time to scoop or squeeze garlic from a jar or bottle, this is it.
COCONUT MILK Either full-fat or light coconut milk work, I keep only full-fat on hand to avoid paying for the water in light coconut milk.
OTHER MILKS The inspiring recipe called for something called a "rice drink" that I find sweet and pasty and haven't developed a taste for. That said, it does have a mouthfeel similar to whole milk. Unsweetened almond milk? Okay. We just use the house milk which at the moment happens to be whole milk. If you use a bunch of add-ins, you might want to up the milk volume to keep the soup vibe going – or not for a stew vibe.
WANT TO REDUCE THE CALORIES? Save 50 calories per cup by using light coconut milk and 2% milk, lowering the calories by 25%. It's not always that easy.
FROZEN CORN I'm smitten with Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn, it's got built in flavor and good looks.
GREEN CHILIS Small cans of green chiles are a staple in our pantry so it's easy to throw in a can here : the taste is good but the pretty colors get muddied.
Note to Vegetarians

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2008 & 2021 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Ah, another reason to make a run to Trader Joe's! This looks like a great quick soup for weeknight cooking.

  2. hi Alanna! first time in your blog and i just loved it..very impressive:)I have used BLUSH in my blog...thank you.

  3. This looks perfectly delicious to me, Alanna. And now I need to look for roasted corn at TJ's!

  4. That looks and sounds great! I've been using rice milk a lot lately in baking, and I actually enjoy drinking it straight up- but it's even better with a sprinkling of cinnamon for a treat.

    I may have to make this soup soon while it's still soup season. I think I have most of the ingredients on hand...

  5. Made this last night. I cut back on the corn a bit to help lower potassium. The coconut milk is high potassium but I love it. It is so good, so flavorful. I'll be making this often. Thinking about adding pineapple and pineapple juice next time. I love pineapple in curries so think it would be a nice addition.

    1. Linda ~ You get the Quick as a Bunny award! We may well be culinary kindred spirits, well-stocked pantries, prone to jumping on easy recipes on the spot. So glad you enjoyed this soup, I’m intrigued by your pineapple idea! Thanks for commenting!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna