This old-fashioned creamed corn soup is a bowl of liquid savoury delicious sunshine. So easy to prepare and just a quick blend to cream all the tasty sweetcorn into a thick, creamy flavour-packed soup. Creamed corn soup is the perfect way to use up inexpensive summer corn, or to utilise a bag of frozen sweet corn from the bottom of the freezer bringing it back to life with this recipe. This creamy corn soup recipe is prepared with all vegan plant-based ingredients and is simple to adapt to a gluten-free diet.
Origin of creamed corn
In essence Creamed Corn Soup is a dish where sweetcorn kernels have been blended with other ingredients, such as stock, cream, or milk, to produce a creamy consistency.
Creamed corn soup has its roots in traditional Native American cooking and is a now part of Mid Western and Southern American cuisine.
Sweetcorn, also known as maize, was an important crop for Native Americans. Long before the arrival of European settlers, indigenous tribes of North America had been cultivating maize for thousands of years. Maize was more than just a staple food crop for these communities as it was also a symbol of life and sustenance.
The Native American tribes are credited with the domestication and transformation of the wild teosinte grass into the versatile maize we know today. Through selective breeding over countless generations, they developed various maize types suitable for different climatic conditions and cooking.
For many tribes, the "Three Sisters" agricultural method was a common practice. This involved planting maize, beans, and squash together. These three crops, when grown in together, support one another. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil feeding the maize, and the squash leaves shade the ground, conserving moisture and preventing weed growth. This system evidenced the wealth of agricultural skills and deep understanding of the land by Native Americans.
Maize also played an important role in tribal ceremonies, myths, and legends. Stories of its origin and significance were passed down through generations, emphasizing its role as a divine gift to the people. Festivals and rituals often centered around the maize harvest, celebrating its bounty and expressing gratitude.
When European settlers arrived in the New World, they were introduced to maize and quickly recognized its value. They learned cultivation techniques from Native Americans and eventually incorporated maize into their diets, leading to its spread and popularity around the globe.
Nowadays, there are many variations of creamed corn including - Thai Creamed Corn Soup and Chinese Creamed Corn, which often includes chicken and rice.
Creamed corn soup became much more popular in America during the 1930s Great Depression Era. Budget-cooking and making-do with whatever ingredients were readily available became essential during these hard times, and recipes of this era often featured creamed corn in soups and chowders. Some unique recipes even repurposed empty corn cobs, using them as the foundational element for a flavourful broth.
For more vegan adaptations of Great Depression era recipes check out our Creamed Chickpeas on Toast, Peanut Butter Bread, One-Pot American Goulash, Creamed Spinach on Toast and versions of this Chocolate Vinegar Cake was also called Depression Cake!
How to prepare creamed corn soup
This tasty easy soup can be prepared with either frozen, fresh or canned sweetcorn.
First, melt the vegan margarine, or heat a little vegetable broth, and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
Pop in the sweetcorn and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir through the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the hot veggie broth and sprinkle in a few pinches of salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Give the soup a good stir and remove from the heat.
Pour in the plant-based milk.
Using a immersion stick blender, or food processor, puree the soup until nice and smooth.
Season with a pinch or two of white pepper and add extra salt if necessary.
Garnish with whole sweetcorn kernels if liked, and some chopped chives.
Recipe notes and FAQ's
Store within a covered container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or freeze for 2-3 months.
Place the soup into a non-stick pot and gently bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reheat for a minute or so just until the soup is nice and hot, but be careful not to boil rapidly as the milk may split. However, if the milk does split simply stir well and it will be fine. If preferred add extra milk to the soup to thin it down or create more portions.
Yes, but do use a gluten-free vegetable stock, and a gluten-free plain flour blend. Also if using plant-based margarine or an equivalent do make sure that it is also free from gluten ingredients.
Yes, preparing this soup ahead of time is a great idea as it can save lots of time! The flavours will develop as the soup is stored and become even more delicious.
This soup recipe suggests using plant-based margarine or butter, or oil, to saute the onions and garlic required for the soup. However, the fat can be replaced with vegetable stock or broth and we do frequently saute in veggie stock.
To begin we usually start with about half a cup [120 millilitres] of vegetable stock and proceed with the recipe as stated for the oil. Extra stock can be added as you go to prevent the onions sticking to the pot, but keep to small amounts, a few tablespoons at a time, as you don't want to actually boil the onions just sweat them out a little.
For our creamed corn soup recipe you can use fresh corn removed from sweetcorn cobs [corn on the cob], or frozen sweetcorn, or even canned sweetcorn.
Yes, if you removed the sweetcorn kernels from corn on the cobs to add to the corn soup recipe, you can also make good use of the empty corn cobs.
Using the empty corn cobs is a traditional technique, that's been practised for centuries, as when added to broths or soups the empty cobs can add more sweetcorn flavour. The cobs also contribute extra sweetness, as when the cobs are simmered the milky residue in the cobs are released into the soup. The empty cobs also help to naturally thicken the soup as starches come out of the cobs as they are cooked.
When using the empty corn cobs make sure that all the silk is removed. The "silk" of corn refers to the long, soft, thread-like strands that are found beneath the outer green husks of a corn ear.
And if possible break the corn cobs into 2-3 pieces before adding to the soup pot, as large corn cobs may not fit easily into the pot, and make sure that the cobs are pushed under the stock.
Once the soup is cooked remove the corn cobs before blending and dishing up!
You can use your normal milk for this soup as any type of milk will be fine. However, as we are a plant-based family that has a vegan diet we do not cook with any animal-based ingredients so we like to use unsweetened oat, almond, or soya milk for cooking.
We say unsweetened as often sweetened plant-based milks can add too much sweetness to savoury dishes especially when there is already a source of sweetness - such as sweetcorn!
Also we like to use a plant-based milk that copes well with being heated, as this reduces the chance of the milk splitting at a high heat, so check any milks to see if they're suitable for adding to tea, coffee, or for cooking - such as barista plant-based milks.
Yes, you could add some paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, chilli flakes, chipotle powder, dash of nutmeg, curry powder, cumin, bay leaf, sprigs of thyme, oregano, rosemary, although perhaps not all at once! Just whatever flavours you think will be nice!
White pepper and black pepper both originate from the Piper nigrum plant. The distinction lies in their processing. White pepper is made from fully ripened berries that are soaked to remove the outer layer, leaving only the inner seed which is then dried to a pale hue. In contrast, black pepper is produced from unripe berries that are dried directly, retaining their dark outer layer. White pepper offers a milder, earthier flavour, while black pepper has a more pungent flavour.
White pepper adds a subtle, warm heat to the soup without the strong pungent flavour often associated with black pepper. Its milder, earthier, and slightly musky profile complements creamy and delicate dishes, enhancing the soup's depth without overpowering its main flavours. Additionally, white pepper blends well into light-coloured soups, and doesn't speckle the soup with little dark bits!
Yes, of course. It's your soup so if you prefer black pepper then by all means use that, but if you do have some white pepper available give it a try! We usually end up using both, white pepper during cooking and then finish off with some black pepper as its a habit to always reach for the pepper pot!
Any fresh herb that you like and have access to is fine for this soup. Such as parsley, coriander [cilantro], basil, thyme, or even fine chopped spring onions [green onions]. If you are serving the soup for a dinner party then perhaps roast some corn kernels or add some sauteed mushrooms as a garnish.
Any of your favourite crusty bread, rolls, baps, buns, baguettes, crackers, oatcakes, etc., are the perfect accompaniment to a tasty bowl of home-made soup. A few ideas:
* Scottish oatcakes
* Irish wheaten bread [100% wholemeal soda bread]
* 3 ingredient quick dinner rolls
* British cheese scones
* Cornbread muffins
* Old-fashioned bran muffins
* Boston brown bread
There are many ways to repurpose leftover creamed corn soup such as use it as a gravy and spoon over mashed potatoes and veggies such as steamed cabbage, or add small amounts of the soup to casseroles, stews, soups such as chowders, or pot pie fillings, as a creamy flavour boost. Or mix the thick leftover soup with rice and veggies and use as a vegetable filling for baked stuffed bell peppers, large tomatoes, large mushrooms, or courgette [zucchini] boats.
Yes, we love adding sweetcorn to soup and stews so we have a few more tasty recipes such as this Chinese 'chicken' And Sweetcorn Soup, and this delicious Potato, Leek And Corn Chowder, and our kids favourites Mexican Noodle Soup [with Black Beans And Corn] and Traditional Vegetable Stew and Dumplings.
Old-fashioned Cream Corn Soup is deliciously custard thick, looks like a bowl of sunshine, and is packed with tasty savoury and sweet flavours.
More vegan budget-friendly soup recipes
Budget-friendly veggie packed soups are the ideal way to reduce your shopping bill without reducing the flavour and satisfaction of a good home-cooked meal. We have quite a few budget-friendly soups on our family recipe blog and a few of our favourites are this Easy Tomato Soup which is prepared with canned tomatoes, and this Carrot and Cumin Soup which makes good use of a bag of inexpensive carrots, and our Scottish Lentil Soup which we enjoy year round, and our Old-Fashioned Golden Vegetable Soup, which is always a welcomed lunch.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Old-Fashioned Creamed Corn Soup
- Large non-stick soup pot
- immersion stick blender or food processor
- 500 grams sweetcorn [either frozen, fresh or canned, extra corn can be cooked separately if you would like a corn garnish]
- 1.1 litres vegetable stock [hot]
- 2 tablespoon plant-based margarine [or butter, vegetable oil, or replace with ½ cup, 120 millilitres, veggie stock, adding more as required]
- 2 tablespoon plain flour [all-purpose, or replace with a gluten-free plain flour]
- 1 medium onion [diced]
- 4 cloves garlic [diced]
- 375 millilitres plant-based milk [or your usual milk]
- 1 pinch white pepper [use more if liked]
- 4 tablespoon chives [chopped, or your choice of fresh herbs]
- Melt the margarine or heat ½ cup [125ml] of veggie stock.Over a medium heat cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. [If the onions begin to brown or stick, add a few tablespoons of water or stock and stir. If you started with margarine or oil, also add a few tablespoons of water or stock if the onions start to stick.]2 tablespoon plant-based margarine, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic
- Next, add the sweetcorn and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add extra tablespoons of water or stock if required.500 grams sweetcorn
- Mix through the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring.2 tablespoon plain flour
- Pour in the hot stock, add a few pinches of salt, and bring to a gentle boil. Over a medium heat cook for 20 minutes.1.1 litres vegetable stock
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir through the plant-based milk. Blend the soup until smooth, although the puree will be nice and thick and depending on the corn it may still have some texture remaining. If a smoother soup is preferred push the soup through a sieve.375 millilitres plant-based milk
- Add salt to taste, and a pinch or two of white pepper. The white pepper really lifts the soup so is recommended if available. Otherwise black pepper is fine.1 pinch white pepper
- Before serving, bring the soup back to the boil, but don't boil rapidly otherwise the milk may split.
- Serve the soup garnished with chopped chives or your choice of fresh herbs.A tablespoon of sweetcorn for each serving is also a nice garnish, although this is best cooked separately while the soup is cooking.4 tablespoon chives
- Nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data includes the fresh chive garnish.
- Store leftover creamed corn soup within the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Or freeze for 2-3 months.
- Reheat by gently bringing back to the boil and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to rapid boil as the milk may split.
- This recipe yields around 1.1 litres [quarts] of soup.
- Any variety of sweetcorn can be used for this recipe such as canned, fresh or frozen.
- For a gluten-free creamed corn soup use a gluten-free vegetable stock and a gluten-free plain flour blend.
Prepared this Old-Fashioned Creamed Corn soup? Do let us know how you got on and leave us a comment below, and click the star ratings. Sharing a photo of your soup on social media? Tag us in using @traditionalplantbasedcooking #traditionalplantbasedcooking Thanks so much Jacq x