I'm not sure there's a great non-meat substitute for bacon. What about getting that extra kick out of a poblano or jalapeno? It would add a little texture and a little spice. You could also add a little smoked paprika to help give the soup more depth. Hope that helps!
Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I might try some mushrooms for body and a splash of tamari for flavor.
Super ideas - thank you!
Smoked paprika? That would give it some of the smokiness of bacon. If the bacon is supposed to be added on top as a crisp element, maybe some toasted nuts, crispy shallots or even scallions?
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
I'd gently toast pepitos, the toss them with finely ground smoked salt while the pepitos are still warm. I might toss in a bit of chopped parsley after they'd cooled a bit, too, for a gremolata effect. I'd sprinkle it on top. Mmmm, yum. Makes me want to go make some . . . and some corn soup! (It's cool and overcast here today.) ;o)
I cook corn soup with and without bacon often. I add smoked paprika for the without and throw in some shrimp for texture and taste but not crunch. Soups, in particular, are very forgiving and fun to play with.
thinly shredded & sauteed sundried tomatoes seem to give s similar visual effect,
You are looking for salty, fatty, smoky and meaty . . try the smoked sea salt from Selina Naturally. It has a nicely balanced natural smoke flavour along with the salt. As previously mentioned, mushrooms for meaty. Fat can be butter or cream.
Chipotle peppers! I think that would give it a nice flavor.
I second Panfusine's answer. Sun dried tomatoes are delicious and add a chewy element to corn soup.
For the smokiness of bacon, smoked paprika would be a good compliment.
I've done corn pudding (similar vein as chowder) with cheese in it - you could grate some smoked cheese, like a smoked gouda, over the top.
No meat, but if you eat fish, another thought would be garnishing corn soup with flakes of smoked trout (or hot-smoked salmon, or shrimp, etc.) I often add corn to fish chowders - good combo, so why not?
I think the thing I am aiming for in transitioning this recipe to a vegetarian option is finding something that creates a substantive "base" similar to the way the pancetta behaves: the rendering that (I think mushrooms and onions seem suitable in a hot, slightly oiled pot? garlic---how not to burn?)---leaves flecks and juices to meld with the next layers. I did try a few things recommended here. Something key, might lie in making sure the paste is well caramelized--maybe double the amount too; caramelize some onion/celery to add some depth. This is one of the grandest soups I have come across...so I don't mean to toy with it, but for family members who have vegetarian/vegan diets, the trial and error are well worth the time and tasty inquisitiveness. MMMM-mmmm.
Okay fun food52-ies....I must apologize, as I thought I was commenting on the mushroom barley soup recipe I was making yesterday (that asked the same question) and must have confused the threads!! Try the mushroom barley with or without pancetta!!! It's amazing. Now I will have to make this corn soup recipe with all the suggestions! My apologies.
If you must must must use something bacon, try using bacos.... which are incidentally vegan.
Agree with the smoked paprika, mushroom-onion and Pepita suggestions for smokey pasty and/or crunchy attributes of bacon. Try also roasted chilies, smoked Gouda for smokey taste. And miso paste or fish sauce (if you eat fish products) for umami and savory elements. What did you end up using? liking?
I vote for smoked salt. For me, mushrooms and sundries tomatoes don't belong in corn soup, but naturally that's just a personal preference.
Make the soup according to recipe and use some silken tofu in slices instead of the meat. Only you will know the difference - oooops, no you won't. It will taste good and be healthy for you too. If you want a "meat" taste, buy some meat flavored tofu.
smoked tofu, toasted pepitas, and also -- dried chipotles toasted, seeded and slivered. Yum. Maybe try smoking some mushrooms and adding slivers of them to simulate the texture and taste of bacon. Hungry now.
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