A delicious, make-ahead soup that's perfect as an appetizer soup; this Fresh Corn Soup is also wonderful for lunch or casual dinners!
I know summer is right around the corner when I start seeing pretty ears of corn piled up high in bins at the market. And when the price display says "3 for $1", I grab a bag and fill it up! Fresh corn is one of those seasonal delights we can't seem to get enough of here at The Café. It's delicious steamed, grilled, roasted, sautéed, in salads, salsas, relishes, breads... and soups! I love serving soups like this Fresh Corn Soup all spring and summer long!
This Fresh Corn Soup is silky smooth and healthy, all at the same time! So often, smooth and creamy soups are loaded with butter and cream. While delicious, they're super high in calories and fat. Exactly what we don't need, with swimsuit and shorts weather over the next horizon, right? This soup gets all it's smoothness from veggies; onions, potatoes and lots of sweet, fresh corn! A stint in the blender and you'll never know the heavy dairy products are missing!
Unlike potatoes and onions, it takes a bit of blending to get corn silky smooth, so I use my KitchenAid Pro Line Blender which makes super fast work of it. However a regular blender will do just fine, just let it run a little longer.
We really enjoy soups like this, as they not only make a wonderful appetizer soup (delicious for a lovely prelude to a dinner party) but also are perfect for lunch with a grilled sandwich or along side a simple green salad for a casual evening meal. The soup can also be made a day in advance, making it wonderful for entertaining or busy weeknights.
I use a super simple microwave method for cooking the corn. The husks are left on, which helps trap heat and moisture, allowing the corn to cook quickly and evenly. When it's finished cooking and cooled slightly, the husks and silk pull back easily, leaving the corn silk-free and succulent. Overcooked corn gets tough and loses it's natural sweetness, so I really like this technique to keep it tender, fresh and delicious.
Reserve a handful of the corn for the delicious topping. Combined with crisp bacon bits, barely cooked onion and finely chopped fresh rosemary, the topping makes an elegant garnish for this wonderful soup. I had to laugh... I was playing around with the topping. I tried a bunch of combinations of herbs and ingredients before it was just right. With each variation, I tested it with a small bowl of soup. I ate so much soup, I couldn't even tell if it was good, or not. I brought Scott a bowl for a final taste-testing. He took one bite and his eyes lit up. I was quickly assured that this Fresh Corn Soup was "ready for the blog"!
A delicious, make ahead Fresh Corn Soup that's perfect as an appetizer soup and so wonderful for lunch or casual dinners!
- 6 ears fresh corn
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves finely minced
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth possibly more
- 2 large yellow or russet potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the topping:
- 2 slices thick cut smoked bacon, diced small
- ½ cup finely diced sweet onion
- reserved corn
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Microwave 3 ears of corn on high power for 4 ½ minutes. Remove and set aside till cool enough to handle. Repeat with remaining 3 ears of corn.
Peel back the husks and silk on one ear of corn and gather them in one hand. Snap them off at the base. Discard the husks and silks. Repeat for remaining corn.
Cut corn kernels from cobs. Reserve ½ cup of the corn kernels for the topping and set aside separate from the rest. Cut cobs in half and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until butter is melted. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add broth, potatoes, bay leaves, salt and reserved cobs and bring to a boil. Cover and reduced to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
Remove bay leaves and cobs and allow to cool slightly. Add the soup mixture and corn to a blender container and blend until very smooth, around 2-3 minutes. You may have to do this in two batches.
Return soup to pot, taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Thin with extra broth, if needed Cover pot and keep warm till ready to serve.