Corn Soup Recipe

A simple corn soup topped with an electric harissa-yogurt swirl + photos from a walk around North Beach on the Fourth of July.

Corn Soup

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.

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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

It is Winter where I live and quite chilly these days. I just so happen to have corn and potatoes and all the ingredients needed for this soup! I will make it for tonights dinner along with roast salmon sandwiches .. besos, C

Candice

are you using medium format dig cam? great photos....or do you crop? what is your fav lens....hmmmmmmm

eatplants

Thanks, Heidi, for bringing me back to my favorite place (I've lived there twice). It brought tears to my eyes to remember the chilly Fourth of July holidays I've celebrated, walking down to the Bay and looking up at the fireworks illuminating my city. I can't wait to try the corn soup, esp. as my childhood cooking efforts consisted of little more than combining a can of creamed corn and a can of milk and heating (-; Kudos to you for everything.

michelle

It would sure be helpful if folks made comments after making the recipe, also. I share the others' comments re beautiful photos and lifestyle, but ...

jan crostonhodder

Heidi, Periodically you mention your homemade celery salt. Could you share that recipe? I would love to try it. Thanks.

Sasha

Wonderful soup recipe and your pictures are beautiful! I think for my first bowl...I'd eat it straight!

Ann

absolutely stunning photos! and, of course, the soup looks and sounds divine. i love the addition of harissa yogurt - i must try that.

samantha

I can't wait to try this recipe! My family spends an entire weekend every summer husking, blanching and cutting corn from the cob to freeze for the winter months. This will be a great lunch/dinner to whip up as we are working.

Megan L.

Happy to hear you had a fabulous 4th of July; loving this soup recipe and surely going to try this Harissa yogurt; I've never had it and always wanted to! Thanks Heidi.

The Healthy Apple

What is Harissa? I am slightly miffed as to why I do not know what this is. Love your new cookbook! Jennifer

Jennifer Langeland

I miss those chilly San Francisco nights. But could not grow my own corn in an apt in the mission in MA I can so I will turn the air conditioning up, schuck some corn and enjoy this recipe. Memories included!!

La buona vita

i had corn last night and was thinking about how much i enjoyed it so this recipe is right on time!

Tiffane

I always enjoy looking at your recipes and this the first time I've commented. I spent the 4th of July weekend in San Francisco (from DC) and we stayed with some friends who live next to Duboce Park. We thought the weather was amazing..a nice break from the humidity. We watched the fireworks over the seven painted ladies in Alamo Park (great view of the city). I can't wait to go back.

Karla

Just clue me in what "harissa" yogurt is. Love the sound of this recipe. I'm still hyperventilating over the "hand chopped pesto" I made!

Paula Roveda

We eat a similar recipe in my family, but we use milk instead of water. I love it.

Elaine

I don't even like corn particularly, but in summer I have a compulsion to eat it nonetheless. And I'm quite sure I would enjoy this offering.

Sophie Delphis

Ah...this reminds me of Deborah Madison's corn soup in "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone." I love that soup (I mean, genius to cook the soup with the corn cobs...imparts so much flavor.) I've worked poblanos and anaheims into the soup before, but never thought of harissa. Great idea for a topping. I'll definitely give it a whirl.

eatlovedrink

I think I would make this for my breakfast. Guess the soup supply great energy. Can I keep it in fridge and reheat it the next day!!?

love cooking

I never had corn soup before, but you make it sound wonderful. I really want to try this soon, and I think I'll also try it as mentioned in the comments, cold. I too would love to hear more about the celery salt.

Lena

Looks delicious :) I love how few ingredients you use to make something amazing. Really, the simplest recipes are always the best.

Heidi @ Food Doodles

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