It’s the essence of summer: This is a silky and smooth Cold Corn Soup that’s creamy, sweet and utterly refreshing. It’s a soup intended to be served chilled or at room temperature, but it’s just as sensational served warm.
For the best results, use fresh corn ears when they’re at their prime (and cheapest!) But if frozen corn is all you’ve got, you can use that instead!
Cold Corn Soup – refreshing summer soup!
The concept of a cold soup might sound unusual if you’ve never tried one before. However chilled soups feature in a surprising number of cultures around the world! The best known might be gazpacho, the Spanish cold soup of pureed tomatoes and raw vegetables. But the Koreans have naengmyeon, a cold beef broth and noodle soup, while even the French sometimes serve vichyssoise (leek and potato soup) cold rather than hot.
Cold soups provide a light and refreshing escape from sweltering, muggy weather in a meal. If you’re sweating through summer right now, that sounds pretty good, right??
If, on the other hand, you’re shivering through a brisk winter (hello Australia), the good news is that this soup is just as delicious served warm. It’s a soup for all seasons!!
What goes in Cold Corn Soup
1. Fresh corn ears
A corn-centric dish is always going to taste better made from fresh corn! The other reason is we can pull maximum flavour from whole corn ears, because after cutting the kernels off the cobs are used to make a simple homemade corn stock. No store-bought stock can rival that!
Frozen corn alternative: Use 10 cups of frozen corn and store-bought chicken stock instead of homemade corn stock.
2. Other ingredients in Cold Corn Soup
In addition to (lots!) of corn kernels, here are the other ingredients that go into this corn soup:
Garlic and onion – Standard aromatic flavour base that appears in most savoury dishes on this site!;
Leek – Adds a slightly sweeter, more delicate onion flavour to the soup instead of just using onion. Substitute with more onion;
Butter – For sautéing. You could use olive oil if you prefer, but the buttery flavour is better!
Cream – Adds a lovely rich mouthfeel to the soup; and
Herb and spice sachet (see below) – Whole spices and herbs wrapped up in a cheesecloth. This is used to infuse flavour into the soup without ending up with little bits of spices in the soup that could otherwise mar the soup’s clean look.
Don’t have cheesecloth? It’s not the end of the world! Use ground coriander instead of whole seeds, ground white pepper instead of black peppercorns (so you don’t end up with black bits in the soup). Add the thyme and bay leaves into the soup, and remove before blitzing. The soup is strained at the end so it will catch any little bits.
How to make Cold Corn Soup
Here’s a rundown of how to make Cold Corn Soup:
Cut kernels off corn cobs;
Simmer corn cobs in water to make corn stock;
Sauté garlic, onion and corn, and simmer with the corn stock; then
Blitz, strain, chill … and slurp!
Part 1 – Corn stock and soup
Cut kernels off corn – I find the easiest way to do this without the kernels flying everywhere is to prop the corn upright on an inverted ramekin or wide mug sitting inside a large bowl. Then cut the kernels off in a downward motion with a small knife. The ramekin ensures you can cut all the way to the bottom and the bowl will catch the kernels as they fall off. ;
Corn stock – Cut the leftover cobs in half. Place in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off;
Measure stock – Strain corn stock, then measure the liquid. It should be around 2 litres / 2 quarts. If it’s much more, simmer to reduce (otherwise the flavour is too diluted). If less, top up with water;
Sauté aromatics – Use a large pot, as this makes around 3 litres / 3 quarts of soup! Cook onion, celery, leek and garlic on a medium-low heat for 4 – 5 minutes until soft and sweet. Don’t let them turn golden brown otherwise it will affect the colour of the soup;
Cook corn – Add corn kernels then cook for 6 to 7 minutes. The corn basically “steam cooks” due to the moisture as opposed to sautéing, which is what we want. As above with the onion etc, we don’t want to make the corn golden (like I insist on for things like Mexican Corn Salad!) because it will make the soup brown rather than a lovely pastel yellow and will lose its freshness;
Add corn stock – Add the corn stock and the herb/spice sachet;
Simmer – Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Finally, add the cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Don’t let it boil as it might split the cream;
Ready to blend! It will smell lovely at this stage, but now we’re going to blend it to really release all the sweet flavour locked up in the corn kernels!
Part 2: Blend, strain and chill
Blend until smooth – Blend right in the pot using a stick blender, or in batches in a blender on high speed until smooth.
CAUTION! Hot liquid + tightly sealed blender lid = soup explosion! To avoid this, cool before blending OR remove the lid of the feeding tube in the blender lid. Cover the exposed hole with a folded tea towel as you blend hot liquid. You will see me do this in the recipe video.
Strain – With a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl or pot, strain the soup;
Press out liquid – Use a rubber spatula to press out as much liquid as you can;
Chill then serve – Cool the soup on the counter (never put a big bowl of steaming hot soup straight in the fridge, it will heat up your fridge and melt foods around it!). Then transfer it into the fridge to chill. See next section for how to serve this soup.
How to serve Cold Corn Soup
This is a rare soup that is intended specifically to be served cold. Serve it fully chilled straight from the fridge, just moderately cool or at room temperature.
Having said that, it’s also terrific warm as well. Warming the soup up brings the flavour of the corn out even more!
Serving vessels: Shot glasses or bowls!
Serving this soup in shot glasses makes a fun canapé to pass around. Try serving in tea cups if making a small starter, or in bowls as a first course.
To pretty it up, sprinkle on a garnish of reserved corn kernels sautéed in a little butter until golden, and a spray of green onion slices for colour. I also added a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Basil oil would have been even more amazing – imagine the splash of colour and hint of fresh basil flavour!
So, if you’re a first timer to cold soups, what do you think?? Will you give this a go? – Nagi x
PS. The correct answer to leave below is YES!! 😂
Watch how to make it
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Cold Corn Soup for Summer
- 8 ears yellow corn (Note 1 for frozen corn)
- 3 litres / 3 quarts water
- 100g/ 7 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1/2 onion , finely sliced
- 1 celery stalk , sliced
- 1/2 leek , white part only, finely sliced (sub 1/2 onion)
- 1 tsp salt , cooking/kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 cup cream , full fat
Herb Spice Sachet (Note 2):
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf , preferably fresh otherwise dried
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- Extra corn kernels , sautéed in butter until golden with a pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup green onion , finely sliced
- Cut off kernels: Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and transfer to a bowl.
- Corn stock: Cut the cobs in half. Place in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain – it should be 2 litres. If it's much more , simmer to reduce. If less, top up with water.
- Sachet: Bundle the bay leaf, thyme, black peppercorns and coriander seeds loosely in a small piece of cheesecloth to create a sachet. Tie with cooking twine to secure.
- Sauté aromatics: Melt butter in a pot over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, leek and garlic. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes until soft.
- Cook corn: Add corn kernels then cook for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Simmer: Add the corn stock and the sachet. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cream: Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes.
- Blend and sieve: Remove the Sachet. Blend in batches in a blender on high speed until smooth. CAUTION! Hot liquid + tightly sealed blender lid = soup explosion! To avoid this, either cool before blending. OR remove the lid of the feeding tube in the blender lid. Cover the exposed hole with a folded tea towel as you blend hot liquid. You will see me do this in the recipe video.
- Strain: Pass through a fine sieve.
- Adjust salt: Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Chill and serve: Cool, then transfer to the fridge to chill completely. Intended to be served chilled or cool, but also great at room temperture or warm!
- How to serve: In shot glasses as a canape, tea cups as a small starter, or bowls as a meal with hunks of crusty bread. Garnish with kernels sauteed in butter with green onion slices and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (basil oil would be even more incredible!).
More amazing vegetable soups
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Photo from the Golden Retriever Boarder from the weekend while I was in Tasmania. This is how he’s been starting every morning! Enjoying the sunrise, Dozer??
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