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Velvety Chilled Corn Soup

Velvety Chilled Corn Soup

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  • 6 ears fresh corn, husked
  • 6 cup (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced English hothouse cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Recipe Preparation

  • Using cleaver or heavy large knife, cut each ear of corn crosswise in half. Place corn in heavy large pot. Add 5 cups broth, shallots, and onion; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until corn is very tender, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer corn to large bowl to cool; reserve broth.

  • Cut corn kernels off cobs. Return 4 cups corn kernels to broth (reserve any remaining corn for another use). Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Strain soup through fine sieve set over large bowl, pressing on solids with back of spoon; discard solids. Mix in enough additional chicken broth to thin soup to consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate soup until cold, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

  • Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Top each with dollop of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with cucumber and chives and serve.

Recipe by Victoria Abbott RiccardiReviews Section

Summer Recipe: Sweet Corn Soup

I had a pile of sweet Georgia corn on my counter this past week, and a vision to create the perfect summer soup. Soups, especially in the midst of this damp Southern heat, are not necessarily my forté, but I do know a good one when I taste it. My mission was a smooth-as-silk corn puree as yellow as the sun, jam-packed with fresh corn flavor, and worthy of any restaurant menu around. It only took three tries, but I finally succeeded.

My first attempt yielded abysmal results. The ingredient quantities were similar to the recipe you’ll find here, but the soup was watery-thin and lacking any substantial texture. I chilled it overnight hoping it might thicken up a little on its own, but it didn’t budge. Good thing I love playing scientist!

I decided to experiment with an unopened bag of potato starch living in my pantry, having read that it was great for using in soups. At first it worked like a dream—the texture was just lovely and the flavor of the corn still came through. But when I came back to it a few hours later, I found congealed blobs at the bottom of the pan. A little heat and a good beating with a whisk did nothing to return it to its original form. I felt defeated.

Round two and three fared much better. I decided to simultaneously test two batches: one with a diced russet potato added to the soup with the corn stock and the other the same as the first attempt but using tapioca instead of potato starch. It was a neck and neck race but there did emerge one clear winner.

The soup with the potato was actually quite good, but was just a bit more “starchy” than I would like. I wouldn’t say that it was a chowder, but it headed slightly in that direction. The soup with the tapioca starch was slightly thickened, velvety, yet still delicate enough to be a summer soup. It was darn close to perfect.

I served the winning recipe to my fiancé’s grandmother and aunt, who came over to my house on Friday for a true Southern-style ladies lunch. I paired the soup with a lightly-dressed spinach salad (with homemade spicy maple walnuts!) and a small bowl of pickled squash on the side. We even finished the meal off with a shared bowl of bourbon banana pudding, just a few bites each.

It was exactly the type of meal I envisioned for my summer corn soup. And for lunch to win Grammy’s seal of approval? Well, that’s all I really need to say.

21 Chilled Soups That Are So Hot Right Now

Cold soup might sound like an oxymoron, but if the refreshing, spicy flavors of a chilled gazpacho are any indication, it’s an incredibly tasty concept. It’s also a souper (you knew that pun was coming) convenient solution for getting in a healthy meal when sweltering weather leaves you in no mood to roast veggies or stand over a steaming pot on the stove. We’ve rounded up 21 cold soups that help you make the most of summer produce—and we’re not just limiting them to veggie-centric recipes either. From fruity, dessert-like concoctions to hearty, bean-based options, these souped-up creations are like nothing you’ll find in a can.

1. Chilled Pea Cucumber Cashew Soup With Mint

While thick, chunky pea soup is great for colder months, we can thank a cup of blended cashews for the silky texture of this rich but refreshing one. Cucumbers give it an even more cooling effect, so it’s perfect for summer.

2. Chilled Cherry Tomato Soup

This summer take on a classic soup uses seasonal cherry tomatoes and lots of fresh garlic and basil. It may be cold, but we’re guessing it still tastes pretty amazing alongside a grilled cheese.

3. Zucchini Basil Soup

Next time you want to do something with your zucchini other than spiralize it, churn it into soup. Miso paste lends some unique savory flavor, while basil adds a refreshing touch plus that amazing green color—but we’re not going to lie, those garlic croutons might be the best part.

4. Carrot Ginger Soup

Sauté the carrots and onions in a bit of melted butter first to get them seasoned just right before puréeing them into soupy submission. A touch of orange zest gives it a little extra kick that works perfectly with the ginger.

5. Avocado Asparagus Gazpacho

Eat your greens the gazpacho way, with this creamy blend of avocado and asparagus. Fresh squeezes of lemon, zesty red onion, and spicy cumin keep the soup tasting fresh and light, but there’s plenty of healthy fat in here to make it a filling appetizer or main meal.

6. Chilled Watercress and Potato Soup With Dill

Hot potato soup can feel kind of heavy, but when served cold, it’s actually really refreshing. Peppery watercress helps out even more by adding some spice.

7. Chilled Cauliflower and Yogurt Soup

Switch it up from your regular breakfast yogurt bowl and get your dairy fix with this yogurt-based soup instead. It manages to fit in both a vegetable and a fruit by using cauliflower and—wait for it—a Granny Smith apple for mild and sweet flavor. Meanwhile, curry powder adds an Indian-inspired kick. It all sounds very unusual, but that’s exactly why you’ll love it.

8. Rustic Vichyssoise

Most vichyssoise recipes throw in at least half a cup of heavy cream. This one adopts the “less is more” philosophy, going for just a tablespoon of the stuff. You’ll be surprised at how rich it is despite the slashed saturated fat count.

9. Chilled Pineapple Soup

The coconut-pineapple combination is classic, but when you add bell peppers, onion, and cilantro to the mix, it’s a whole new level of delicious. Call it soup or a savory piña colada, this recipe guarantees you’ll be satisfied.

10. Chilled Cherry Soup With Cardamom

With cardamom, cinnamon, and lemon juice as seasonings for this sweet and tart cherry soup, you could serve this as a healthy dessert. The creaminess comes from sour cream, but the blogger helpfully notes that yogurt works just as well if that’s more your thing.

11. Chilled Melon and Almond Soup

The ground almonds, garlic, and salt make this a primarily savory soup, but melon (cantaloupe is often used) adds a subtle sweetness. With the olive oil swirl and paprika-dusted melon skewers as garnishes on top of each chilled glass, it’s super impressive for serving guests.

12. Chilled Blueberry Soup

Want to put your farmer’s market blueberries to good use for something slightly healthier than pie? Turn them into soup instead. Spiced with cinnamon and ginger, it actually tastes like pie filling, just with a lot less sugar.

13. Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup With Ginger

This isn’t your average tomato soup. Not only do peaches give it another layer of flavor, but there’s also a generous two tablespoons of ginger in the batch, ensuring this recipe is anything but bland.

14. Easy Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon co-stars with tomatoes to form the base of this classic chilled soup. The rest of the ingredient list reads like a regular gazpacho, but it’s amazing how much of a delicious difference one little switch-up can make.

15. Cantaloupe Peach Soup With Blackberry Drizzle

Not one, not two, but three summer fruits get puréed into this sweet blend. Sure, you could just call it a smoothie, but the blackberry-balsamic drizzle and fresh mint garnish gives it a classic soup finish.

16. Chilled Edamame Gazpacho With Roasted Corn and Curried Salt

This vegan soup has everything going for it: looks (that yellow and green color combo will catch anyone’s eye!), taste (thank you, fresh basil), nutrition (quality protein from the edamame, plus healthy fats from the avocado), and just enough spunk (courtesy of a pinch of garam masala).

17. Chilled Hummus Soup

If you (like us) have been known to consume hummus by the spoonful, this recipe is right up your alley. With tahini, cumin, and garlic, it tastes exactly like the classic bean dip, but soup-ified so that it’s perfectly acceptable as a main meal.

18. Spicy White Bean and Corn Gazpacho

Corn soup doesn’t always have to mean a heavy chowder. Make it a cold gazpacho, where yellow tomatoes, bell peppers, and fruity olive oil are the perfect summery complements. The protein-packed white beans are responsible for making it a smooth version rather than the traditionally chunky kind.

19. English Pea, Fava Bean, and Mint Soup

Peas, fava beans, and mint are a foolproof combination. Enjoy them in soup form with this super-simple, less-than-five-ingredients recipe. There’s only a touch of cream—and it goes a long way—but feel free to use regular milk instead.

20. Cold Lentil Yogurt Soup

Taking its cue from a South Asian cold yogurt and lentil soup that’s usually served with rice, this version replicates some of the traditional flavors but goes for a much simpler ingredient list and a quicker, one-step method. It’s a fantastic meatless way to get in a lot of protein too.

21. Chilled White Bean, Cucumber, Mint, and Yogurt Soup

Believe it or not, this cool Mediterranean-inspired soup takes all of five minutes to come together, thanks to the fact that it’s a simple process of blending ingredients together—zero cooking required. Top the velvety concoction with a sprinkle of pistachios for a crunchy contrast.

Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

Chilled soups are some of my favorite recipes, especially when the end of summer approaches. The trick is to make sure the sweetness of the corn remains while preparing the stock for the puree. The puree is key in producing a velvety texture that combines well with a dollop of mascarpone or chevre cheese.

Prep Time 20 minutes + 4 hours for chlling
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, cleaned and chopped finely
2 shallots, chopped
1 medium white onion chopped
10 ears sweet corn

6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon of sea salt

Marscopone or chevre cheese


1. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large soup pot add the leek, shallots, and onion. Saute until softened paying careful attention not to brown.

2. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Remove the corn from the cob and add the corn and cobs to the soup pot and season generously with sea salt.

4. Gently stir the corn mixture using medium-high heat for approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Remove just the cobs from the mixture and allow it to cool for approximately 5 minutes before transferring to a high-speed blender.

6. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with additional sea salt if needed.

7. Using a fine-mesh sieve pass the blended mixture through and discard any fibers left over.

The key here is starting with the butteriest, ripest avocados at the farmers market they're pressed through a fine-mesh sieve before being transformed into soup.

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Recipe Summary

  • 8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 4 scallions (white and light-green parts only), thinly sliced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves or cilantro flowers (optional), for serving

Cut off tips of corn and stand in a wide shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, cut kernels off cobs. Place cobs in a large pot, along with milk and 6 cups water bring to a boil over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 15 minutes. Discard cobs.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high. Add shallots and garlic cook until soft and translucent, 2 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer corn to pot with milk mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until corn is soft, 15 minutes.

In batches, fill blender halfway with soup and puree until smooth. (Use caution when blending hot liquids: Remove cap from lid and cover opening with a dish towel.) Pour liquid through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl, pressing on solids discard solids. Season soup with salt and pepper and refrigerate until cool, 1 hour (or, covered, up to overnight). Divide chilled soup among bowls and top with bell pepper, scallions, and cilantro.

Chilled corn soup

One of the things that’s most important for a cook is to keep an open mind about food and constantly challenge the limitations of our perspectives and prejudices. That’s something I had to learn myself as a young chef. Even after I became serious about cooking, there were certain dishes that just didn’t excite my imagination. One of those was soup.

It was not until I dined at chef Alain Chapel’s eponymous restaurant in France that I finally realized how much a skilled chef could elevate such a humble dish. But I almost missed the chance. Blinded by my prejudices, I had decided to forgo a soup in favor of other dishes further down the menu. However, my captain -- a true skilled professional -- lobbied strenuously for the soup and finally convinced me that I really ought to give it a try.

Chapel’s mushroom cappuccino was deceptively simple: a mushroom consomme enriched with foie gras and topped with foam. Yet the intense consomme possessed a perfect balance highlighting each of the different wild mushroom flavors. The foie gras emulsion gave the soup a rich texture and silky mouth feel. Presenting the soup as a “cappuccino” gave the entire experience a whimsical flourish despite the underlying elegance of the dish.

It was one of his most memorable dishes I’ve had. In fact, it made such an impression that not long after, when I opened my restaurant Rakel in New York, I included my own interpretation on the menu.

Since then I have come back to soup time and time again (and that’s in both my cooking and acting career for those of you who are Pixar fans) -- always fascinated and challenged by the possibilities it offers.

Soup is an ideal way to begin a meal, and it will always have a place at my table regardless of the time of year. In summer, when we crave fresh flavors and light dishes, chilled soups offer us a perfect venue for showcasing an array of produce from the garden.

The soup recipes here demonstrate the variety of tools we use to extract these flavors in their purest form. Some (gazpacho and vichyssoise) are practically meals unto themselves, while others (corn soup and carrot consomme) are meant more as a palate-awakening amuse bouche.

Some are quite simple to make. For the gazpacho, you just chill the ingredients overnight to marry the flavors and then puree (straining afterward will give you a more elegant result).

Cucumber vichyssoise is only a little more complicated. For this recipe, a juicer really helps, though if you don’t have one you can simply blend the cucumbers and then strain them.

Other soups are more involved but repay the effort. For corn soup, you cook some corn kernels sous- vide and juice the rest. Then you make a corn stock from the cobs. Finally, you bring them all together with reduced cream to create a silky texture and intense flavor.

For the carrot consomme, cold-clarify juiced carrots -- thicken it with gelatin to suspend the solids, then freeze it and slowly defrost it in a strainer in the refrigerator over several days. The result is almost crystal clear but incredibly fragrant.

Although they vary in the amount of time and effort they take, all of these recipes aspire to that highest calling of a soup: to perfectly express its primary ingredient. The techniques are diverse, but the end result should always be a powerful flavor experience with an intensity that I hope would please even chef Chapel.

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Who needs pasta when you've got pierogi?! That's what you'll be asking yourself after digging into this ultra-comforting potato soup. To give it an added depth of flavor and a surprising crunch, top your soup bowls with thinly sliced chives and crispy bits of bacon. You won't believe this is actually healthy!

  • Post author: Debbie Koenig
  • Post published: October 10, 2011
  • Post category: Baby Food / Books / Recommendations / Soup / Starters / Vegetarian
  • Post comments: 1 Comment

Welcome! I no longer update this blog, but I do write a free weekly meal-planning newsletter for families (especially families with kids as picky as mine). It's called The Family Plan. Please subscribe!

As soon as I saw the title of Kathleen Flinn’s new book, I knew it would claim a place of pride on my shelf: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks.

I mean, come on. Haven’t I been running my own kitchen counter cooking school for the last few years? In the book, Kat describes how a random bout of snooping in another woman’s shopping cart (a cart filled with boxes and packets of processed “food,” but no actual ingredients) led her to find ten women who, for one reason or another, were intimidated by their own kitchens. They fed themselves and their families convenience foods because they had no idea how to do anything else. All ten allowed Kat inside their homes to catalogue the contents of their cupboards, and then cooked a typical meal for her. From there, she created a mini-cooking school, devoted to filling in the gaps in her students’ knowledge.

The book chronicles Kat’s experiment with these women—women who represent so many of us. My own cooking class tends to attract people who are familiar with their kitchens, but need help figuring out how to continue to cook with a baby hanging off their bodies. Every so often, though, a mom signs up (I’ve only had one dad take my class! What is up with that?) who’s a kitchen newbie. It thrills me, teaching her how to gently smash a clove of garlic with the flat side of a knife and slip off the peel, or that “season to taste” simply means she should add salt and pepper until she’s happy with the flavor. So as I read Kat’s book (I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m enjoying it so much I couldn’t wait to tell you about it) I’m nodding along, smiling, laughing. I expect you will, too. Each chapter ends with a handful of incredibly appealing, remarkably simple recipes.

Before this book, I knew Kat as the author of another wonderful, wonderful book—one you should read if you’ve ever fantasized about dropping everything and heading to, say, the Cordon Bleu in Paris. It’s called The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School.

Anyhoosie, Kat and I had crossed paths before at a food writers’ conference or two, but we’d never actually met. The other night, that finally changed. The Institute for Culinary Education, where I’ve taken quite a few classes, hosted a panel discussion devoted to Kat’s new book and the subject of home cooking. Also on the panel: Pam Anderson, who I’ve long worshipped from afar (seriously, her How to Cook Without a Book has been a source of inspiration for the last decade) and Lauren Shockey, a restaurant critic for the Village Voice and author of Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris.

The mingly first 45 minutes were, I’ll admit, torture for me. There was some fabulous food, all prepared from recipes in Kitchen Counter. I met Kat—finally!—and we spoke briefly, but everybody wanted to speak to her. And I didn’t know another soul. Friends, I suck at talking to strangers. I jumped on Twitter, begging somebody, anybody, to come rescue me from myself. Ultimately, someone did: Maggie Anderson, Pam’s daughter and one-third (along with her mom and sister) of the most excellent blog Three Many Cooks. Thank god for her. It’s no wonder she’s one of the driving forces behind the Big Summer Potluck as well as Bloggers without Borders (who received a portion of the event’ s proceeds click the “ donate ” button near the top of the right-hand column of this page if you ’ d like to help spread the love)—she’s just about the friendliest person on earth.

Anyhoosie, back to the panel. I scribbled down a few choice quotes:

“I’d never been down a frozen food aisle before. I’m a food writer. I buy ramps.” –Kat Flinn, describing her experience stalking the owner of that grocery cart

“The ‘Pasta Parmesan’ was supposed to replicate pasta with oil and parm. But it had 28 ingredients.” –Kat again, on the contents of the cart

“Working in restaurant kitchens really made me realize how much I wanted to be a home cook, to see the response of the people I’m cooking for.” –Lauren Shockey

“The solution is different for different people. I was just in Florida showing my aging parents where to find the refrigerated real mashed potatoes, now that they can’t really cook from scratch any more.” –Pam Anderson, on the notion that minimally-processed food is perfectly acceptable

“My epitaph is going to be, ‘It’s fine!’” –Pam Anderson

“You never learn from doing something right. Only from mistakes.” –Pam Anderson

And my favorite quote of the night, the one I’m going to try to live by:

“Put a picture of the thing you love most in the world in the back of your fridge. You should never have so much stuff in there that you can’t see that picture.” –Kat Flinn, on how crucial it is not only to have good ingredients on-hand, but also to use them

Kat gave me permission to share a recipe from the book with you—this is an amazingly flavorful, rich-tasting carrot soup. It was served as a passed hors d’oeuvre, in shot glasses, each one topped with a sprinkle of chopped chives and the teensiest little dollop of yogurt.

So tell me: What’s stopping you from cooking tonight?

Velvety Chilled Rosemary Carrot Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 leeks (white and light green parts), chopped
1 pound carrots, diced
Several fresh rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
1/3 cup quality plain yogurt (optional)
Croutons (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart or larger saucepan. Add the onion and leeks and sauté until softened. Add the carrots, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, stock, a couple of pinches of coarse salt, a few grinds of coarse pepper, and a pinch of cayenne if using. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer until the carrots soften, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove from the heat. Discard the rosemary and the bay leaf. Puree until smooth. Add in additional water if necessary. Return to the pot. Check the seasonings, adding salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste.
  3. Serve warm or cooled. Garnish with a scoop of yogurt or croutons if desired.

MAKE BABY FOOD: Hells, yeah! This practically isbaby food—but the best baby food you’ll ever taste.

This chilled soup captures the essence of sweet summer corn in the most magnificent way – it’s as pure as can be, and all about the corn. And the coconut milk, which is the base for the soup, accentuates the sweetness of the corn even more and makes the soup smooth and velvety.

But all that sweetness needs to be balanced, and that’s where the garnishes come in – here, they are as important as the soup itself. First, large coconut flakes are toasted to add a bit of crunch to the creamy base. Then the soup is adorned with super-thin slices of jalapeño peppers. They bring a spicy bite that’s absolutely marvelous with the sweet corn. Last, but not least, the Alderwood smoked salts bring another important contrast – think of what salt does to caramel.

The recipe for this chilled soup is quite simple, yet the flavors are both exotic and exciting… Enjoy!

Food & wine pairing: Alsace, Gewürztraminer with chilled corn soup

With its balance of sweetness and spice, this soup needs an aromatic white wine that’s in total harmony with those elements. The first time I served this soup I poured an Alsatian Gewürztraminer, and the pairing was like magic. The full-bodied wine was right at home with the creaminess of the soup. But its luscious tropical flavors were downright delicious with the sweet corn and coconut flavors. So my first recommendation is a Gewürztraminer. But you can also pour an off-dry Riesling – it works very well too.

Samin Nosrat’s Smooth Silky Sweet Corn Soup

I’m a firm believer that the best cooking is not so much about fancy techniques and expensive ingredients. Sometimes the tiniest—and most inexpensive—thing will make all the difference. Nothing demonstrates that idea as well as this soup, whose secret ingredient is a quick stock made using nothing more than cobs and water. Use the freshest, sweetest summer corn you can find and you’ll see how five simple ingredients can add up to a singularly flavorful soup.

• ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and the gang talk with Samin about this corn soup. on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze®.

Recipe and illustration reprinted with permission from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heatby Samin Nosrat. Illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton. Copyright 2017 © Simon & Schuster.

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