Sweet Corn Soup

Corn is one of summer’s greatest gifts. And while there’s nothing purer than eating it right off the cob, this soup will be a sweet surprise at any party you bring it to. Smooth as silk yet dotted with plump, sauteed kernels that add a fun little crunch, this wonderful soup can be enjoyed hot, warm, or cold. It’s even vegan if you forgo the optional hit of pesto. But if you’re not vegan, then don’t miss the pesto.

Tip: when you’re shaving the kernels off the cob, break the cob in half first; when the kernels have a shorter distance to fall, the stray ones don’t bounce quite as far off the cutting board.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
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Serves 20 people


  • 10 ears corn
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup pesto optional



  • Shuck the ears and shave the kernels off each ear, saving both cobs and kernels (separately).
  • Peel one of the onions and chop it into one-inch pieces. Chop the celery into one-inch pieces as well. Peel the garlic and crush the cloves.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large stock pot (12-16qt) over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery to the pot and saute, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add the sheared cobs along with the parsley, peppercorns, and half of the salt, and saute for a 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 10 cups of cold water to the pot and turn the heat to high. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the stock simmer for an hour.
  • Strain the stock through a paper towel and reserve.


  • Peel the other onion, cut in half, and slice each half thinly.
  • Over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan (4-6qt). Saute the onions until soft, about five minutes. Reserve one cup of the kernels and add the rest to the pot along with six cups of the stock, reserving the rest of the stock.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium high heat. Add the reserved kernels and spread into a single layer (work in batches if need be). Sprinkle remaining salt over the corn. Let the corn fry until kernels start to pop off the pan, then give the kernels a stir and spread out again, sauteeing for another minute or two until the kernels are dotted with brown spots. Set aside.
  • After the soup is done simmering, blend it on high in a blender until creamy and smooth, working in batches if necessary.
  • Return soup to sauce pan and add the sauteed kernels. Add salt to taste. Add reserved stock if desired to achieve the consistency you want, especially if you're making it a day or two ahead and the soup thickens too much while in the refrigerator.


  • Soup can be served at any temperature. Transport soup to the party in a tightly sealed container, along with a ladle and 20–25 5oz paper cups that can handle hot liquids (decorative Dixie cups are perfect for this). Fill each cup about 2/3 — you should have about 20 servings. Have the pesto available nearby with a spoon. Spoons optional for the soup.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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