Wednesday 9 September 2015

Sweet corn soup

In this Summer or Fall recipe, I pay tribute to peak-season corn at its sweetest!

The soup is a celebration of sweet summer corn, at its peak right now. When I was growing up we would go to this farm stand on the Maple Valley highway, Mom knew the farmers very well. We would buy 12 ears of corn, go home and shuck it and  boil it for dinner...........OMgosh, best corn ever! Here the stripped cobs simmer in a bath of stock so all their starchy sweetness seeps out into the soup’s base.Then I strip the remainder of the kernels off and add them....yum!!

Sweet Corn Soup

 9 c. chicken stock
7 ears of corn
4 T olive oil
2 large yellow onions diced
5 stalks of celery
2 T fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried
1 3/4 potatoes medium dice (I used Yukon Gold)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Lot's of freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. coriander (ground or crushed whole) 
1 1/2 c. 2% milk (can use whole, skim or soy)
1/3 c. chopped parsley
Optional garnish of red pepper chopped

Heat the stock in a large pot until it comes to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. While it's heating, cut off the corn kernels from the cobs (cutting in the sink helps keep the kernels from flying all over). Place the cobs in the stockpot, and simmer them covered, while you prepare the rest of the soup ingredients (about 25 minutes). 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the celery and thyme and sauté for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove the cobs from the stockpot with tongs, and place them on a plate to cool. Add the sautéed vegetables, potatoes, 1 tsp salt, paprika, 1/4 tsp pepper, cayenne, and coriander to the pot and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, when the cooked cobs are cool enough to handle, use  a knife and scrape down the sides of the cobs to collect the remainder of the kernels. This should yield about 1 cup of kernel bits. 

When the soup has simmered for 25 minutes stir in the milk, corn kernels, and corn kernel bits. Simmer for 3 minutes. 

Turn off the heat for the soup and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each one with some of the red bell pepper. Serve immediately.

I served this delicious flavorful soup as a first course for our family celebration of the end of Summer!! Not a spoonful was left in a bowl, and I saw a few go back for seconds! 

From the Department of Eating in the Moment:  Make the most of that sweet corn while it lasts! As many of you know, Mother Nature is a busy lady and has no time for dawdling. There are winter squash and turnips on the way, after all.  Below, some of my favorite ways to savor this year's sweet corn harvest, which is about sweet as it gets.

Steam It, Husks On: Try it on the grill or in the microwave.
Steam It, Husks Off: Via a stove top steam basket. You'll probably need to cut the cob into thirds so that it fits neatly in the basket)
Roast It, Husks On:  In a 400-degree oven or tucked among the ember of your charcoal barbecue. You might want to soak the corn in water for a short spell to keep it from drying out (and from husks burning).
Roast It, Husks Off: This for corn lovers who are looking for more of a smoky, charred flavor, and a toothier texture.  You can do this directly on the grate of a grill or on the rack of a 400-degree oven.
Boil It, Husks Off: This is how many of us grew up eating corn. A few tips: Generously salt the water, which will season the corn and perhaps eliminate the need for salting at the table. Bring water up to a boil, add the corn, boil for just 4 minutes.
Cut It Off the Cob: Shuck corn and remove all the silk. Place one cob at a time in a bowl, upright and with a sharp knife, remove the kernels, from top to bottom.
Blanch and freeze the kernels for later when you've got a hankering in the dead of winter: Take those kernels and blanch them (quick parboil) for about 60 seconds. Rinse under cold water and drain, portion, and put in freezer-safe zip-style bags.
Stir-fry the kernels with other quick-cooking vegetables, like zucchini and peppers.
Incorporate corn kernels into salads (great with cherry tomatoes!) or grains -- rice, bulgur, quinoa, farro, barley...
Make Corn Stock: Naked corn cobs are packed with flavor and make great stock, in place of vegetable stock. It's as easy as this: Place a minimum of 6 corn cobs (free of kernels) in a deep pot and add enough water to cover. Add a handful of black peppercorns, a few sprigs of fresh parsley and/or thyme, and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about an hour. Strain, cool and portion into freezer-safe containers. Use for soups, stews, risotto, or anytime you need a vegetable stock.

Check out my grandson Cooper with his new utensils Grandma bought him!! He loved the soup and scooping it up with his "Loader spoon"!! 

I know I will get a flood of emails about these cute utensils, you can find them at Construction utensils!


  1. Not only did some go back for seconds but I had it for lunch the next day. :-) Nothing like your soup to get me through a hectic work day. So delicious. It's on the popular soup list next to the beef barley one you made years ago.

    1. Thanks Eva!!! Glad you enjoyed!! To make it a bit creamier, without adding calories, you can take 2 cups out and puree, then add it back in. Thanks for commenting! JJ

  2. This soup looks so good! Is it really spicy? My Dad cannot have spicy food. Thanks for this post. Jim


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