Corn Soup

Corn Soup Recipe

My heart broke a little the other night as I pulled a heavy wool coat from my closet. After fifteen summers in San Francisco, I know with absolute certainty I'll be cold at some point during Fourth of July fireworks. This year was as good as it gets though - warm daytime weather all weekend, and clear skies for the festivities. I only complained about being cold once all night. Holiday weekend highlights? This bowl of corn soup topped with harissa yogurt, and a walk around North Beach with my camera before watching the fireworks from underneath Coit Tower. Pics below.

Corn Soup Recipe

People were out in full force in the parks - picnic blankets, dogs zipping here and there, Frisbees, bikes, and boom boxes. The eventual sunset was stunning enough that I mentioned to Wayne that fireworks would just be a bonus. And after sunset, people clustered on the north-facing hillsides all across the city to watch the sky light up. It was a good night out, and made me happy to be bundled up in San Francisco.

Corn Soup Recipe

A couple more words about the corn soup. The harissa-yogurt swirl is one way I like to enjoy this soup. But there is typically a progression when I make a pot of corn soup like this. I enjoy the first small bowl straight, properly seasoned, and finished with little dabs of butter and a touch of homemade celery salt. This way, it's all about the corn. Then I'll move onto more adventurous toppings like this one, the harissa yogurt, for seconds and leftovers. It's a soup that's also great topped with feta and dill, or any number of compound butters. Make a pot, and play around a bit. If you can imagine it goes well with corn, work it into a topping, and see how it goes.

Corn Soup with Harissa Yogurt

I like this soup just like this, but if you're looking to make more of a meal of it - try serving over a bit of hot farro or barley. Or alternately, topped with a poached egg and sprinkled with toasted, sliced almonds.

6 ears corn, husks removed
7 cups / 1.65 liters water

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice

4 medium shallots, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
freshly ground pepper

plain yogurt, harissa, and fresh dill, to serve

Start by bringing the water to a boil in a large pot. While it is heating use a knife to cut the kernels from the cobs of corn, reserving them in a bowl. Take the cobs and place them in the water. Let them simmer there into a stock/broth while you're prepping the rest of the ingredients, ideally 15-30 minutes. Remove the cobs from the broth when you're ready to use it.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, stir until they are well-coated, add a big pinch of salt, and saute until the potatoes are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. When the potatoes are nearly cooked, add the shallots and garlic.

Add this mixture, along with the corn kernels and the salt, to the corn broth. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. I like this soup a bit chunky, so I remove about half of the soup while I puree the rest, then stir the reserves chunky portion back in - combining smooth/chunky in the end. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper, to your liking.

Serve dolloped with a bit of plain yogurt, salted, then swirled with a spoonful of harissa paste. And a sprinkling of fresh, chopped dill.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • I think this is very very interesting Corn Soup !

    Ms. Thaw Da
  • Its winter here already in Australia- so its all about the soups! This one looks delicious- and with the harissa...yumo!

    Esther
  • I have never made corn soup! I think that's about to change! I love corn...corn on the cob, popcorn!!, corn in salads, raw corn, cooked corn, I love it. I would dig this soup, for sure! And I love the recipe/butter-herb topping for popcorn you have in your latest book. So good!

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
  • Beautiful photos!

    Nancy
  • What a delicious looking soup! The harissa and yogurt is a great addition :) Totally agree that July in SF requires a jacket - but yes - clear and warm during the day is about as good as it gets!

    Anjali Shah
  • The atmosphere sounds amazing! And the soup sounds like a perfect meal at the end of it all. It's one for the recipe binder. I made your sushi bowl last week, with fish for my other half instead of tofu, and he said he would be happy to eat it nearly every day! Of course I won't be making it nearly every day, but I will definitely be making it many more times!!

    Ruth
  • Home made celery salt?! How?!!!

    Katie
  • I was so happy because for the first Fourth in what seems like forever, it was actually hot in Oregon this year. The corn, however, is late this year, so we'll have to wait for this delicious looking soup.

    Camille
  • Love the pictures! I too live in San Francisco, so I know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to the weather. I wish I had ventured out of the Sunset to see the fireworks display on the 4th, but your pictures make up for it. Thanks for the tasty looking corn soup recipe too! I love harissa.

    Sarah, The Petite Gourmet
  • Wonderful SF pics, it really was a warm and pleasant 4th. Can't wait to make the soup, I love corn soups in the summer and this one sounds great.

    Matt Fuller, GRI
  • I love corn soup. I haven't seen too many recipes that mention flavoring the broth/water with the cobs. It makes an excellent soup. Love the yogurt flavored with harissa but I might try poblano pesto instead. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
  • Had a smile on my face when you described summer in San Francisco. When I travelled there I was totally taken aback at the chilly winds. While there I saw a Mark Twain quote on somebody's t-shirt - 'the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco'. Wish I had of seen it earlier! San Fran is seriously one of my favourite cities though and I really enjoyed your description of Fourth of July celebrations there. Not to mention suggesting serving harissa yogurt or a dill topping over corn soup - what a great idea!

    Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi
  • Corn soup sounds fantastic right now! I like the flavor of fresh corn in soup with a little bit of heat. Your first photo is really intriguing- looks like an alien ship is about to land with all that light.

    la domestique
  • They're practically giving corn away down here...there's a ton of it! Can't wait to make this, love that it doesn't have any cream or anything. I'll also admit I've been known to enjoy corn soup cold...perfect for a hot Texas summer!

    Hannah at FleurDeLicious
  • Ah you had such a nice Fourth of July! It looks so perfect and fitting, makes me wish I had spent mine in a city like yours. Oh! and I am spending a couple days in San Francisco for a little trip in about two weeks-- this post as well as your whole site has made me so, so excited.

    Amy
  • You read my mind! The corn is starting to shed pollen and soon we will be up to our ears in corn! I wouldn't dream of making corn soup without making a corn broth with the cobs for it--smart girl :)

    DessertForTwo
  • Wow, this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe and warming story. I love the photos as well! The harissa swirl sure sounds like it elevates the soup to the next level! Thanks!

    The Bird Cage
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