Freshly picked sweet corn is one of the great pleasures of summertime. As much as I love just eating a cooked ear covered with melted butter and salt, I have also spent time this summer thinking of other ways to enjoy all this corn, and began thinking about a corn soup.
Armload upon armload of sweet corn has given me inspiration to create salsas, queso dip, and a fresh taco salad. As well as a drenched-in-butter version, lest folks forget that this is possibly the very best way to enjoy it. But what about a soup?
Well, I saw two problems with that: first, who the heck wants a hot bowl of soup in the summertime? And second, corn chowder is already out there, with many home cooks I’m sure already in possession of a chowder recipe they love.
The answer: a cold soup. The internet and Pinterest teem with cold soup ideas for summer, made with bases of cucumber or strawberry, or loaded with veggies like gazpacho. (I’ve had gallons of gazpacho myself.) The thought of having that sweet corn flavor in a cold soup immediately struck me as being a very good idea.
And so the cold soup development began!
This Sweet Corn Soup begins with the fresh kernels and diced shallots getting a quick sauté before vegetable stock is poured in. Once cooked the soup gets blended and chilled.
A quick swirl of cream once it’s chilled… and that’s it, save for a sprinkle of fresh herbs over the top.
The soup is very creamy (so creamy that you could probably leave out the cream if you’d rather) with a fresh, sweet and savory flavor.
If you’re picking up corn for dinner tonight, grab some extra ears to try this soup for lunch tomorrow! The recipe is below and here are other ways we’ve been digging into fresh corn and vegetables this summer:
Chilled Sweet Corn Soup
This chilled corn soup is a refreshing way to enjoy summer's sweet corn. Made with just a few simple ingredients, it has a wonderfully fresh flavor.
- 6 ears sweet corn, shucked
- 2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced (will yield about 1/2 cup diced shallot)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, chives, or thyme
- First, slice the corn kernels off the cobs: hold an ear on the flat end on a large cutting board and have a sharp knife ready. Slice down behind the kernels, from the tip to the bottom to remove the kernels from the cob. Rotate the cob and continue slicing down until all the corn is off the cob. Repeat this process with the rest of the ears of corn.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot (large enough to hold the stock in the next step) over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and diced shallot to the pot. Stir to coat everything with the oil, and sauté everything for 5 minutes - the corn and the shallots will start to soften.
Pour in the vegetable stock, switch the heat to high, and give everything a stir. Bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat a little and simmer the soup until the corn kernels are cooked: about 5 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Carefully pour the hot soup into a blender. Cover the blender but leave off the small cap, instead covering the hole with a thick, clean dish cloth - to keep the soup inside but allowing steam to escape. Holding the cloth in place, blend the soup on high for several minutes, checking it periodically, until the soup is really smooth. There will be a little texture to the soup, but it should be pretty smooth overall. (Note: you can try using an immersion blender to blend this soup in the pot, but I had better success and smoother soup when I used my blender.)
- Pour the soup into a heatproof bowl, add in the salt and stir it through. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to chill for 4 hours or more.
After it has chilled, take the soup from the fridge and stir in the half and half. Ladle soup into serving bowls, and top them with chopped, fresh herbs. Serve the soup immediately and enjoy the refreshing flavor! Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. Makes about 6-1/2 cups.
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