Raw Corn Chowder ♥ Recipe

Today's summer soup recipe: A cold soup made from fresh corn and 'creamed' with olive oil. Most refreshing.

Soup recipes go on the backburner most of the summer. Except on rare 'chilly' days when the temperature drops to, I don't know, 70F?, summer just isn't the season for belly-warming foods. But cold soup -- now that's another story! When Lisa from the St. Louis food blog Show Me Vegan made a blender soup of Corn and Cashew Chowder, it moved to the top of my weekend cooking list. Sure enough, by Saturday it was hot-hot-hot outside and cold-cold-cold soup tasted wonderful. Better yet, since the soup is raw, no cooking required!

Lisa's soup was inspired by a recipe from Food & Wine which called for six tablespoons of olive oil. Naturally, I wondered if the oil could be eliminated entirely. IT CAN'T -- in fact, without the oil, the soup is as blah as dusty corn husks. But still, I wanted to meter the oil, adding only what was needed for the soup to taste good. I added olive oil -- the good stuff -- a tablespoon at a time. Even the first tablespoon made a difference, each one increasingly more. I stopped at four, where, to my taste, the soup was completely delicious and needed no more richness.

This soup has creative potential -- though please don't think that these ideas mean the soup, as is, needs improvement.
  • The grainy texture is rustic and lovely but another time I might press the liquid through a chinois to create something luscious and smooth.
  • Once smooth, cooking it into a soft custard might be gorgeous, perhaps going so far as slipping in a real luxury, like crab or lobster.
  • On the simpler side, I can imagine drizzling the top with honey or adding lime juice for a little brightness.

LEFTOVER REPORT A rarity, this soup was just as good straight from the blender as leftover a few days later.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 6 cups

About 6 ears of fresh corn, enough for 3 - 4 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup raw nuts, the recipe called for cashews, I used almonds
2 cups water
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon raw or pickled jalapeño (my addition but the inspiring recipe called for garnishing the top with jalapeño)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (important, don't skimp)
Olive oil to taste (inspiring recipe called for 6 tablespoons, I used 4)

Garnishing ideas
More corn kernels
Chopped cilantro
A drizzle of pesto or honey
Black pepper

Leaving the stems on for handles, husk the ears of corn. With one hand, hold an ear tip-down in center of a large bowl. With a knife, slice off swaths of corn kernels top to bottom. When kernels are off, use the knife’s dull edge to scrape the cob top to bottom on all sides, collecting remaining pulp and milk in the bowl. Transfer kernels to a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Process til smooth. A tablespoon at a time, add olive oil until desired mouth feel is achieved. Serve immediately but the soup also keeps for two or three days.

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© Copyright 2008

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. Corn chowder looks delicious!
    I've read many of your veggie tips and learned a lot.

  2. Thank you for experimenting with the recipe! I was also wondering about decreasing the olive oil, and now I know I can. I agree, this soup keeps amazingly well.

  3. I'm generally not one for cold soups, but this is I'd definitely enjoy trying. It looks wonderful!

  4. I love corn soups and chowders,and often add a 'secret' ingredient... this may seem "icky" to some, but if you add half of a pig's trotter while cooking any sort of corn soup(remove before pureeing), it adds a unique, gelatinous richness and just a hint of porkiness... delicious!

  5. I love raw vegan soups :)

    In the winter when I need something warmer, I just blend it a little longer, making sure not to get it too warm (destroying nutrients) but just enough to warm my soul :)


  6. That soup looks delicious! I did a gazpatcho this past summer, and we loved it, so I'm thinking more cold soups will be in order. :)

  7. I am often wary of corn soups. Maybe it's the color or the expected texture. But your description here sounds wonderful and the ingredients sound delicious. What's more there are so many ways to personalize it and suddenly my imagination draws me in. Inspiring!

  8. I never think to add cold soup to our lunches and dinners. Thanks for a simple, great idea!

  9. Love the idea of using nuts as a thickener, like that wonderful "white" gazpacho that uses almonds. When corn is fresh, really fresh, it's delicious raw, and I often don't even bother to cook it.

  10. As summer comes to an end, corn recipes are popping up all over the place! This chowder looks phenomenal, and over here at Kitchen Caravan we too did a spotlight on corn not too long ago! Sophia made a stew and some corn fritters, as well as an Eastern European dish called Mamaliga. Feel free to drop by and see what other delcious recipes you can make with corn!

    -Anastasia from Kitchen Caravan

  11. Oneveganfatty on InstagramAugust 29, 2012

    This was delightful, although I might use less water next time so it would be thicker. I topped mine with diced avocado!

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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