Simple Corn Soup: Three little words that really mean what they say in this recipe. This is the perfect summer soup to serve warm and start a harvest meal. It provides all the joy of buttery rich sweet corn on the cob, except there’s no cob, no buttery fingers, and no mess! This soup transforms the corn-on-the-cob experience into a rather more elegant affair. It forms the platform for any number of toppings or applications.
Adjust the water content to adjust the thickness. Make it thicker to enjoy as a purée on which to place steamed baby carrots and scallopini squash. Or add more water and enjoy it as a palate cleansing hot drink between courses. However you serve it, Simple Corn Soup will impress your guests with its delicious minimalism. This recipe serves three.
3 cobs fresh sweet corn
1.5 – 2 cups water
2 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter (use a splash of coconut oil for a vegan version)
salt & pepper to taste
Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the kernels from three cobs of corn into a large bowl. Use the back of the knife to run down each cob in order to squeeze out any corn juices clinging to the cob. This produces approximately three cups of corn kernels and juice. Divide this in half, adding one part to a medium saucepan. Add the other half to a blender. The amount of water to add will depend on the size of the cobs. If you didn’t quite get three cups of corn, add only 1.5 cups cold water to the blender. If you got three cups of kernels or more, add a full two cups of water. Blend on high speed for several seconds — the intent is to liquefy the corn in the blender.*
Add the blender contents to the saucepan containing the raw kernels, and set over medium-high heat, stirring often. Once it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to keep corn from sticking to the bottom of the pot. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and add the unsalted butter. Use a stick blender to emulsify the butter into the soup, and to blend the remaining kernels into a thick, foamy soup. If you don’t have a stick blender, simply return the saucepan contents to the (clean) blender, and add the butter before blending on high.
When handling hot soup, particularly with blenders, use extreme care to avoid burns.
Taste the soup and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Divide the soup between three bowls and serve hot.
While this soup is sublime on its own, it also invites optional toppings. A dollop of crème fraîche, some finely chopped chives, or even some chopped bacon would bring this soup to a higher level. In our recipe, we sprinkled on a tiny amount of smoked paprika, which added a wonderful barbecue flavour.
*Half the corn is blended cold, and the remaining half is blended once the corn has cooked. This allows the starches to be released in two stages. It adds depth to the texture of the soup, and makes the most of the rich corn flavour. This extra step is key to the recipe.