I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for sweet corn soup from At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen for years. My plan was to post it at the beginning of corn season, and if you squint just so, we’re almost there.
Amy’s recipe for sweet corn soup is stunningly, almost embarrassingly simple. It requires a minimal number of ingredients, all of which you probably have in your pantry except the corn and the gomasio (which is really just toasted sesame seeds mixed with sea salt). Chop up an onion (no need for great precision, we’re pureeing this soup), get the onion sauteing in a soup pot while you chop some garlic, and shave the corn kernels off your fresh corn cobs. Add the garlic to the onion until it’s fragrant, add your corn kernels, bay leaves, water, and three broken-up corn cobs. Simmer for 20 minutes, then puree. Top with gomasio if you want, or just some chunks of sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Essentially, you’re creating a corn broth when you break apart the corn cobs and add them to the soup pot. Together with the onion, garlic, and bay leaf, this yields a light and delicate corn soup that tastes exactly like sweet, fresh summer corn without being one-dimensional. I have made this soup with frozen corn (out-of-season) and thus without the corn cobs – it’s fine but not nearly as good as it is with fresh corn.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 5 cups sweet corn kernels, shaved off from about 6 large ears* (3 cobs retained for cooking)
- 4 bay leaves
- 5 cups water
- black sesame gomasio**
- chopped chives
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, saute until golden (about 5-10 minutes at a heat setting of 5/10 ). Stir in the garlic and salt, continue cooking 2 more minutes.
- Add the corn kernels, bay leaves, and water. Break the 3 reserved corn cobs in half, add to pot. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes; corn kernels will be bright yellow and cooked through.
- Remove the corn cobs and bay leaves. Working in batches, puree soup in blender under velvety and completely smooth.
- Season with salt to taste, then serve warm with gomasio and chives as optional toppings.
**Make your own gomasio by toasting ½ cup black sesame seeds, then crushing together with ¼ teaspoon sea salt using a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Store in fridge up to one month.