One of the best ways to use summer-harvested corn is to make it into a delicious soup. Creamy corn soup is a classic option that is sure to please a crowd. The sweetness goes well with toppings like scallions, bacon, crab or paprika. Check out step 1 and beyond, if you want to know how to turn those corns into a very tasty dish.
- 8 pieces of fresh corn
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: scallion slices, bacon, chopped peppers, crabmeat
Part 1 of 3: Preparing the Ingredients
Step 1. Remove the corn leaves
Sweet corn soup is made with corn at its peak in summer. Take a piece of corn and pull the leaf down to reveal the corn kernels. Use your fingers to pull all the leaves and hairs from the corn. Cut the cob at the bottom of the corn with a sharp butcher's knife.
- Look for fresh corn at the grocery store or farmer's market in the summer months. Locally grown corn has the best taste, as they don't have to travel far.
- This recipe tastes best with fresh corn, but you can use canned or frozen corn if you don't have fresh corn. Make sure you use cured corn without sugar or other additives, which can affect the taste of the soup.
Step 2. Grate the corn
Use a cheese grater with large holes to grate the flesh from the cob and place it in a bowl. Keep grating all the sides of the corn until you've removed all the fresh, sweet corn kernels. To remove the remaining juice, use the blunt side of a knife to scrape the cob down. If you skip this last step, you will lose a lot of the flavor of each corn.
Step 3. Cut the onion into cubes
Spicy white onions will provide a good contrast to the sweetness of the corn. Place the onions on a tray and use a sharp knife to slice them from root to tip. Peel the skin from the two halves of the onion. Lay half the onion flat side down on the tray. Make several parallel cuts in one direction, then turn them 90 degrees and slice in the other direction.
- Experiment with red, yellow, and scallion onions to bring out the different flavors of the corn.
- If you don't want to use onions, you can use celery instead.
Part 2 of 3: Cooking Soup
Step 1. Melt the butter
Place the butter in a large Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat and heat the butter until it melts and begins to sizzle.
Step 2. Add the corn and onions
Place the corn and onions together in a saucepan with butter. Stir, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are brightly colored. Don't overcook the onions and corn – if they start to turn brown, lower the heat immediately. Cooking the corn until it is brown will make the sweetness of the corn more pronounced.
Step 3. Add broth
Pour the stock over the onions and corn, raising the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- If you have homemade chicken or vegetable stock, the flavor of your soup will really stand out. Otherwise, choose a good quality broth without using a lot of preservatives.
- Try the soup after it has simmered for a while. Does it feel like they are mixed together and complement each other? If not, cook another 5 minutes.
Step 4. Puree the soup
Carefully pour into the blender and cover with a lid. Don't fill the blender more than halfway, or the hot soup will pop the lid off the blender and cause a mess. Grind the soup until smooth, then pour it into a separate bowl or saucepan. Do this in batches until all of the soup has been blended to a puree.
Step 5. Strain the soup
Pour through a fine-lined sieve to remove any small corn husks or other solid pieces. All that will be left is a soft, ground-textured corn-flavored liquid.
Part 3 of 3: Finishing Soup
Step 1. Season the soup for flavour
Add salt and pepper, try the soup, and add more if needed. At this point, you can also add other seasonings such as flavored salt, dried thyme, or cayenne pepper.
Step 2. Add cream
Before serving, add the cream. You can preheat the cream if you don't want to affect the temperature of the soup. Make sure not to bring it to a boil.
Step 3. Serve with garnish of your choice
The corn soup is simply amazing with an assortment of different garnishes. You can serve it plain, but try it with the choices below to make it more lively:
- Chopped scallions
- Minced smoked pork
- White crab cutlet
- Chopped chipotle chili