Soup isn’t what you tend to think of when it comes to a light summer meal, but summer soups are an excellent choice. This soup makes the most of summer’s plentiful and flavourful sweet field corn. While it tastes creamy, it doesn’t have any added milk or cream, instead using corn “milk” to add a creamy texture. All things considered, this is both a tasty and pretty-darned-healthy soup (if you aren’t too liberal with the sour cream or you use the low-fat variety).
I love to serve this soup as a meal with a side salad and sometimes (like tonight), with homemade buttermilk biscuits sprinkled with a little fleur de sel (Yes, my meal did just get a little less healthy there :) This soup would also be great as a starter soup for summer entertaining.
You can serve this soup hot, warm or at room temperature. I prefer it just slightly warmed or at room temperature, depending on how hot the day is.
Summer Corn Soup
Summary: A lovely corn soup, made with fresh corn and the cobs. Dairy free!
- 5 to 6 large ears fresh sweet corn, shucked, silks removed
- Kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 medium red potato (6 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves stripped and chopped (1 Tbsp. loosely packed leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 1/4 cup sour cream, for garnish
- 1/2 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes, for garnish
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish
- With a sharp knife, cut the raw kernels off the ears of corn. You don’t need to cut too close to the base of the kernels, as you want to leave a bit for the next step. You’ll need about 3-1/2 to 4 cups of kernels for this soup. Set corn kernels aside.
- After the kernels have been cut off, stand one cob on end in a shallow dish and use the back edge of the knife to scrape the cobs and extract as much “milk” and solids as you can. Set this corn milk mixture aside as well.
- Break the cobs in half and put them in a heavy, large pot (at least 4-quart size). Add 6 cups water and 1 tsp. salt and over high heat, bring this to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes then discard the cobs. Pour this stock into a bowl and set aside.
- Set the same pot back over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, add in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook briefly, until fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium, add the celery and a sprinkling of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally to prevent them from browning, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne and stir. Add the corn stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add most of the corn kernels, reserving about 1 cup. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes.
- Pure the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender (be careful to fill the blender no more than one-third full and hold a towel over the lid while you turn it on). Put the pureed soup back in the pot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Add the reserved corn kernels and corn “milk,” and simmer just long enough to take the raw edge off the corn, about 5 min. (*I just turn the heat off the pot after adding and let the hot soup cook it slightly. I find it’s the best way to preserve some great crunch to the corn while allowing it to cook just slightly.) Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, garnished with a small dollop of sour cream and the tomatoes and basil.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 45 min
Yield: 6 servings