Harvest Corn and White Bean Chowder

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 8 votes

Vegan harvest corn and white bean chowder is made extra flavourful with beer, lime, hot peppers, and cilantro. So cozy and delicious.

An overhead shot of two bowls of vegan corn chowder in white bowls on a white background. A beer is poured nearby and there is a small bowl with lime wedges nearby as well.
This post is sponsored by Muskoka Brewery.
An overhead shot of a bowl of vegan corn chowder in a white bowl on a white background. A beer is poured nearby and there is a small bowl with lime wedges nearby as well.
A shot of corn stalks outdoors in bright sunlight.
2 photos: one of fresh corn kernels up close, and one overhead shot of some vegetable stock being made in a white stock pot.


In the last two weeks of August, we’re eating fresh corn, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes almost every night. Our fridge is stocked to the point of overflowing with all of these things from my family’s garden. Each night is a game of “How can I remix this?” with the same cast of characters. Sometimes it’s super fun and creative, and sometimes I just make a big sauté with a splash of soy sauce, chili, and garlic, and call it a night.

Soup is a frequent destination for the bumper crops as well. Generally when I make soup or stew, we eat it all up within 3 days. I don’t really make-ahead and freeze a lot of stuff. The only cooked thing that’s stockpiled in my freezer is homemade vegetable stock. I just prefer fresh food and (gratefully) I have the time for cooking around that preference.

But corn chowder is different and 100% the exception. Summer corn from Ontario exists on this higher flavour plane. It’s so sweet and creamy. When the mini cornfield at my parents’ place is exploding, I fill the bottom shelf of my basement freezer with chowder. It’s a soothing saviour on a cold and dark November night. Can you tell that I’m excited for Fall?

Practically everything else in the corn and white bean chowder is local as well–the potatoes, hot peppers, onions, garlic, herbs–and honestly that fills me up with a corny (heh) sense of pride. This version of chowder that I dreamed up has a solid pour of local beer to deglaze the pot. I love the little bit of tang and balancing edge of bitterness that it brings to the finished product. I’m partnering with
Muskoka Brewery to showcase their Harvest Ale, which is 100% sourced from Ontario producers. The malt and hops are grown right in the province and the yeast is developed here too. It’s a large batch brew that supports over 260 jobs. This Harvest Ale is a delight in my chowder, and obviously so refreshing and delicious straight up.

So I hope that you try this harvest corn and white bean chowder with all that summer corn, and more importantly I hope that you get some relaxing times with a refreshing brew (alcoholic or non) soon!

An overhead shot of prep for a vegan corn chowder on a white background.
A hand pouring some beer into a pot of soup.
An overhead shot of two bowls of vegan corn chowder in white bowls on a white background. There is a small bowl with lime wedges nearby as well.

Harvest Corn & White Bean Chowder with Beer

Vegan harvest corn and white bean chowder is made flavourful with beer, lime, hot peppers, and cilantro. So cozy and delicious.
5 from 8 votes
HARVEST CORN CHOWDER WITH BEER & WHITE BEANS - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves minced
  • 1 lb potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ¾ cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 hot pepper/chili of choice, minced (see notes)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup beer (I used Muskoka Brewery Harvest Ale)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (See notes!)
  • 5 cups corn kernels, scraped from about 5-6 cobs of corn
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Equipment

Notes

  • I blend half of this chowder to give it a creamy texture, but if you’d like yours to be SUPER creamy, throw a handful of soaked cashews into the blender as well.
  • I used a freakishly hot banana pepper from my garden here. A jalapeńo would be amazing too.
  • If I know that I’m making corn chowder, I like to simmer some really good homemade vegetable stock with scraped corn cobs beforehand. If you only have time for boxed stock, just give it a boil with the scraped cobs for 20 minutes or so. It will still make a difference!
  • If you avoid alcohol, just use more stock and add a touch more lime at the end.
  • Corn and potatoes are starchy and need lots of salt and acidity to come alive. Season liberally!

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and thyme and stir. Add the potatoes and stir to coat in the spices. Add the white beans, season everything with lots of salt and pepper, and stir.
  • Add the chili and garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the beer. Let it froth up and then gently stir. Bring the beer and vegetables to a boil. Then, add the vegetable stock to the pot and give it another stir.
  • Cover the pot and bring the chowder to a boil. Reduce the heat to a strong simmer and let the soup cook, covered, until the potatoes are completely tender, about 15-17 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, add the corn and continue to simmer the chowder until the kernels are cooked and slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Then carefully ladle half of the hot chowder into an upright, vented blender (like a Vitamix). Turn the blender on and slowly bring the speed up to high. Blend the harvest corn chowder until creamy and smooth, about 40 seconds.
  • Return the blended portion of the chowder to the pot and stir to combine. Stir in the lime juice as well. Check for seasoning at this point and adjust if necessary. Serve the harvest corn chowder hot with chopped cilantro on top and extra black pepper.

**This post was created in partnership with Muskoka Brewery. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this site!

29/08/2018 (Last Updated: 29/08/2018)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free option, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, salty, soup, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, white beans, winter

22 comments

Recipe Rating




  • 5 stars
    Make this every summer and it’s so delicious! Finally had leftovers that I’ve put in the freezer and looking forward to enjoying this winter :)

  • 5 stars
    It’s my fourth summer making this. So lovely. Thank you Laura! x

  • I dont drink so can I   sub the beer for something else

    • You could just use additional vegetable stock! It will be just as tasty.
      -L

  • 5 stars
    I made this soup for dinner tonight, halving the quantities in case my bf doesn’t like it (he’s not much into soups) but it was a huge success and we almost gulped the whole pot in one meal ! I used oregano instead of thyme and scallions instead of cilantro, and added a spoonful of vegan yogurt on top when serving. It was really flavorful and beautiful balanced, creamy, spicy, and tangy to perfection. I’ll definitely make it again because Inlive soup and I’m so glad I found a recipe that my bf likes !

  • This recipe is great! Made it at the end of last summer and froze the leftovers which held up fantastic. But after we ate it I was sad I hadn’t made more. I’m making a huge batch this weekend to freeze for fall when the corn is all gone!

  • Wow! So easy and filling! I had some frozen corn from harvest that I wanted to use, and this is the perfect recipe. I think I used a bit much paprika, as mine is darker than your photos, but it is still delicious and has so much flavor. Really glad I stumbled upon your site, so many recipes I can’t wait to try!

    • Thank you for this comment, Lauren! So happy that you enjoyed the chowder :D
      -L

  • The soup was awesome. Made exactly as directed (except with a West Coast beer), and it was perfect. Nice and light with a great blend of spicy, sweet, and tart. Brava!

  • This is marvelous! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I used jalapeños and a local beer (Karbach Hoppadillo, if there are any Houstonians reading). A definite do over.

  • Made this tonight and subbed out fresh baby lima beans for the white beans as they are in season here in Virginia. This was amazingly good. I’ll be making a double batch to freeze. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Oh this would be perfect with lima beans! So glad that you enjoyed it.
      -L

  • I love that you are so honest that you don’t make ahead and freeze meals. I don’t prefer this either! But thinking about eating this chowder in the dead of winter definitely sounds just perfect. I may need to follow suit.

  • Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe and your pictures look beautiful! This post makes me nostalgic for summer produce in Ontario…My husband is from Toronto and it’s always my favorite time to visit his family who is spread out across Ontario.

  • Would a gluten free beer work? I don’t drink beer at all so I don’t know the difference between a GF beer and regular beer LOL, but the recipe looks delicious so I’d like to try it.

    • A GF beer would definitely work! Just make sure that it’s a GF beer that you actually LIKE the taste of. We’re just using the beer to sort of deglaze the vegetables and add a little flavour complexity to the soup. If you can’t find a GF beer that you like the taste of, you could go with more vegetable stock or even a hearty splash of white wine. Hope this is helpful!
      -L

  • So I hate the texture of beans… I know- ridiculous. BUT can you suggest a hack? Can I blend them? Leave them out? What do I do about the beans??? Cuz the rest looks delicious!!!

    • Hi Angie! It’s not ridiculous at all. We’ve all got our things! I would suggest leaving the beans out entirely, reducing the amount of stock by about 1/2 a cup, and definitely check out my tip for blending soaked cashews into the chowder to make it creamy. The beans kind of help “cream it up” so you’ll need a little extra help in that department. Let me know how it all works out if you try it with these tips!
      -L

  • Add this recipe to the list of reasons I cannot wait fir the temps to cool down! I’ve tried to wing a recipe like this before, but I know it will be better coming from you. Your recipes never let me down and always surprise me with their little extra somethin’. Thank you for the work you do!

    • Hope that you give it a try and love it! Also patiently waiting for the humidity to go down over here :)
      -L

  • I love that when you do sponsored work, it is always so clearly something you genuinely support – like local beer!! The chowder looks so good, will have to try with one of my local pnw brews and a jalapeno from our garden :) cheers!

    • Thanks Lacey! You guys have sooo many great beers to choose from out there. Enjoy! :)
      -L