This recipe for a creamy, slightly spicy, Roasted Corn Soup uses very little cream and is a perfect first course when summer corn is at its best, that is, of course, summertime. It can easily be made either vegetarian or vegan with just a few ingredient changes.
How to make this creamy spicy Roasted Corn Soup
A while ago I shared a recipe for a super delicious Apricot Almond and Brown Butter Tart I made for the dessert at a dinner party I gave; this week I share my recipe for a deliciously creamy, slightly spicy, Roasted Corn Soup.
I made this soup as the beginning course. I love to serve soup as an opening course. Some of my favorite first-course soups include Chilled Cucumber Soup, my Smoky Tomato Eggplant Soup, and of course a classic French Onion soup.
And now, this Creamy Spicy Roasted Corn soup, is a great one to serve in the summer when corn is at its peak.
Whenever I have a dinner party, I love to serve dishes that I can make in advance, that way my kitchen is clean when guests arrive AND I'm fresh and not tired from cooking all day. I remember my mother working so hard at getting things prepared that when it came to actually sit down and eat, she, I think, would have rather just gone to bed. This taught me to spread my work out over a few days, and learn to make things ahead of time.
"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?"
Ingredients and Substituions
- Corn: This soup uses corn in three ways, roasted fresh, canned, and corn broth. The roasted corn gives it a slightly nutty flavor.
- Canned Corn: I think that you just can't replicate the flavor of canned corn, without using canned corn. It's very distinctive in its flavor.
- Corn Broth: (not pictured) The homemade corn broth added extra corniness to the mix. I learned about corn broth when I made my recipe for Sweet Corn Creme Brûlée . Seeping the corn in the cream added so much flavor, so I thought it would work here too. And it does.
- Fresh California Chile: Also called an Anaheim Chili, this chili will add a bit of back flavor without adding a lot of heat.
- Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper: This is where you can adjust your heat. Using a Serrano pepper will add more than a Jalapeno, but both will add heat. For a milder soup, remove all the seeds and membranes from the pepper. Do remember to check the heat level before adding and to use gloves and/or wash your hands well after chopping.
- Russet Potato: Use a russet rather than a waxy potato such as red, Yukon Gold, or White Rose. The russet's starchiness is what will help thicken the soup.
- Chicken Stock: Homemade preferred, but a boxed stock will work. Get one that does NOT contain a lot of aromatics such as carrot and celery.
- Other ingredients include Garlic, cumin powder, heavy cream (optional), butter, and extra virgin olive oil.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Get the corn kernels off the corn cob. Using either of these methods works. Using the mandoline is quick and efficient, but you can also use a sharp knife (I use my boning knife for its flexible blade) and cut the kernels off into a bowl. You should have about 4 cups of kernels.
Step 2: Once the corn has been removed, toss it with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Cover. a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Spread into a single layer and put into a 400ºF (204.4ºC)
It should take about 20 minutes to turn your corn from raw to toasted. Do keep an eye on it and stir it around a few times while it's cooking. Remove from the oven when toasted.
Step 3: While your corn is in the oven toasting, cut the cobs in half and place in a saucepan, cover with lightly salted water, about 4 cups or so, and simmer for 20 minutes. Let the corn cobs seep for another 20 minutes to fully flavor the corn broth. If planning on making this vegetarian, double the amount of water.
Step 4: While the corn is baking and the broth is making, chop the onions, garlic, and chilies, and set them aside. Peel and dice the potato. Keep the potato in water to keep them from turning brown (drain before adding them to the soup).
Step 5: Saute the vegetables, onion, chilies, garlic, in a bit of olive oil and butter until soft. Then add the potatoes (drained), the canned corn (also drained), along with the roasted corn.
Add the chicken broth and the corn broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are very soft.
Step 6: Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the solids from the pot and add to a blender. Add a bit of broth to keep things loose.
When blending hot food, always use caution. I put a towel over the top just to make sure nothing comes jumping out of the blender; blend until smooth.
Don't let the smoothness of this corn soup puree fool you! There's still a bit of work to do to get all the fabulous corn kernels to be smooth and pleasant to eat as a creamy soup.
Step 7: Set up a fine mesh strainer inside the pot you used to make the soup. Pour the blended corn into the sieve.
Use a wooden spoon to smoosh (yes that's the official word) the corn mixture through the sieve until you get all the corny goodness into the pan with none of the grit.
Bring the soup to a simmer, add the optional cream (if using) along with the cumin. Taste and adjust for salt and serve with the accompaniment, diced tomato, avocado, green onion, and reserved roasted corn.
Yes, you could use either. I prefer yellow as I love the color of the soup and I think yellow corn has more corn flavor. White corn tends to be sweeter.
Yes, this corn soup can easily be made vegetarian. Simply omit the chicken stock. Do not replace it with vegetable stock, though, as it is too "vegetative" and will ruin the subtle complexity of the soup. Simply make extra corn broth. Or use some water. If going vegan, use vegan butter or olive oil, and omit the cream.
This soup is one of those dishes that improves in flavor by letting it sit a day or so in the refrigerator allowing all the flavors to blend. On the day you want to serve it; heat it over low heat until hot. Save some of that corn broth to thin it as necessary. Soups like these tend to thicken after being refrigerated and the corn broth is the perfect thing to use to thin it to a proper soup-like consistency.
This soup will stay in the refrigerator, and cover, for a few days. You can also freeze it.
This recipe was originally published in September 2015. It has been updated with new pictures, step-by-step instructions, and other information.
Creamy Spicy Roasted Corn Soup
- 4 ears of corn kernels removed - about 4 cups
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- ½ of an Anaheim chili pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno or Serrano
- 1 ( 6 - ounce) russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 (7-ounce can) corn, drained
- 2 cups chicken broth preferably homemade or low-salt
- 2 cups corn broth
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream omit if making vegetarian
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the Garnish:
- 1 roma tomato seeded and diced into a small dice
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- ½ cup avocado diced into a small dice
- ½ cup reserved roasted corn
- Heat oven to 400º F. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the fresh corn with 1 teaspoon olive oil; pour onto the cookie sheet and roast in the oven, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes, or until brown and toasty. Set aside ½ cup for garnish.Make the corn broth: once the kernels have been removed from the cob, cut the cobs in half and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover them, about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Shut the heat off, or remove the pan from the heat, and let it steep for another 20 minutes. What you will have is a very corny stock.
- Heat the remaining oil and the butter in a large saucepan; saute the onion, garlic, Anaheim chili, and jalapeno until just wilted. Add the potato, chicken broth, corn broth, canned corn, and remaining roasted corn. Simmer about 30 minutes. Let stand until cooled, then place the solids into a blender along with just enough liquid to blend. Pass the blended ingredients through a fine sieve, pressing to remove as much pulp as possible while leaving the hard casings in the sieve. Add the blended ingredients back to the pan. Heat the soup up to simmer, add the cumin and cream. Stir to combine. Ladle into warm bowls, and top with the garnishes.