Late Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Herbs…from the Hamptons

4.5 stars based on 5 votes

corn soup

I’ve fantasized about a vacation in the Hamptons for a very long time…probably something to do with my long-standing Barefoot Contessa habit, a little too much Sex and The City, and — of course — the set from one of my all-time favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give (that house!). So you can imagine, I was more than a little excited when my husband’s friend invited us to visit his beach house in the Hamptons last weekend.

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It really couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s been years since Michael and I got away just the two of us, and after our last family trip to Hershey Park, where I lugged around everyone’s stuffed animals and prizes, and went on spinning rides that left me in a constant state of nausea, I think I deserved 24 hours of child-free fun in a luxurious beach town. Right?

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I have to say, the Hamptons — even nicer than I’d imagined. Beautiful beaches, sprawling shingle style estates hidden by giant boxwoods, charming towns dotted with antique stores, big yachts, men in white shorts and pastel Polos, and of course lots of quaint markets and farm stands à la Barefoot Contessa.

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I didn’t get to do any cooking while we were there but couldn’t help but get inspired by all the farm fresh produce. I bought loads of fresh corn from a roadside market to bring home as a souvenir.

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Once I got into the kitchen, I figured we’d all kinda OD’d on boiled corn-on-the-cob so this delicious corn soup was just the ticket.

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With only a few simple ingredients — a little butter, shallots, corn, chicken stock and fresh herbs — it has an intense corn flavor that tastes just like summer. You can have fun with it: substitute your favorite herbs; garnish it with chopped tomatoes or red peppers; or luxe it up with a swirl of heavy cream.

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Part of the fun of cooking is getting inspired by what’s in season and stepping off the beaten path to buy locally from the source. For me, farmers markets are so much more fun than grocery stores, especially when they’re in the Hamptons. :)

Note: Be sure to get fresh-picked corn and cook it as soon as possible. As soon as it’s picked, corn starts converting sugar to starch which reduces sweetness. If you’re not going to cook it right away, always store it in the refrigerator as it slows down the conversion process.

Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Herbs

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping cup chopped shallots
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) low sodium chicken broth (I like Swanson Organic)
  • 6 ears fresh corn (white or yellow are both fine, but yellow makes for a prettier soup)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn. Set one ear of corn aside. Use a knife to cut the kernels off of the remaining 5 cobs, then break the scraped cobs in half. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, corn kernels, broken cobs, whole ear of corn, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the whole ear of corn and set aside to cool. Cook the soup for 10 minutes more, then remove the broken cobs from the pot and discard.
  3. Off the heat, use a hand held immersion blender to purée the soup until very smooth. Be patient…it takes a while. The soup should have a creamy consistency without being gloppy. If it's too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock bit by bit; if it's too thin, cook over medium heat until thickened.
  4. Use a knife to cut the cooked kernels off of the cooled whole cob, then add the kernels to the soup along with the herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (if necessary, you can add a bit of sugar to bring out the corn's natural sweetness). Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh basil if desired.
  5. Note: If you don’t have a stick blender, let the soup cool slightly and purée it in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape and cover with a dishtowel so it won't splatter. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 370
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Sodium: 722mg
  • Cholesterol: 31mg

Reviews & Comments

  • Jenn, this is just what I was looking for (I am in the Hamptons and trying to soak up the last of the season’s corn). Question: I’d love to throw in some jalapeño. Good idea? And if so, when should I put them in? With the shallots? Thanks!

    - Lisa on September 18, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, Yes, definitely a good idea — and yes, with the shallots :)

      - Jenn on September 18, 2014 Reply
      • Thank you, Jenn! I just made it with some chopped jalapeño added to the shallots. It is spectacular! I almost didn’t need to add the other ear of corn and the herbs.

        - Lisa on September 18, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great, healthy and simple recipe. Loved it.

    - Bob on September 15, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious, will definitely make again! I added some milk and cornstarch to make it creamier and thicken it up a bit.

    - Dawn on September 13, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just made this! It tastes wonderful! I’ve never cooked a soup from scratch before and I’m very happy with the results. It was just what I was looking for.

    - Mai on September 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This soup is fantastic! And not too hard to make, as soups often can be. My family and I kept going back for more. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    - Beth on August 30, 2014 Reply
  • 3 stars

    I made this soup and mine turned out thin. I cooked longer to thicken, even added a little cornstarch, but never thickened. It tasted good, but not quite what I wanted.

    - Berit on July 21, 2014 Reply
  • Are there any other substitutions. It is delicious with the chicken stock, however i have one vegan guest so thiught i would do some with the veg stock.

    - Debbie on September 9, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Debbie, The only other option is water, but I think the soup will have much better flavor with veg stock. Please come back and let me know how it comes out. Thx!

      - Jenn on September 9, 2013 Reply
  • Can this be made with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock

    - Debbie on September 9, 2013 Reply
    • absolutely

      - Jenn on September 9, 2013 Reply
  • Whipped this up after Church two weekends ago. This soup was sweet enough, so I did not need to add any sugar. I made a mistake by adding the fresh herbs before I used my hand-held blender and it gave a the soup a slightly greenish hue…. still tasted great and made for a nice Sunday afternoon lunch with mini grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.

    - Liesel on October 4, 2012 Reply
  • This was truly excellent. We often overbuy corn when it is at it’s peak and when dinner is over we find that we have ears uneaten. This is the best use I’ve found for the leftovers. I’ve tried it as written and altering it to utilize the kernel cut from already steamed ears and it is equally delicious! And best of all it freezes with very little change of texture and taste. Thank You!

    - Ken Fox on August 27, 2012 Reply
  • As you say, I’ve OD’d on corn on the cob. What a nice change.

    - Amy Flick on June 21, 2012 Reply
  • Can’t wait to make this.

    - Lynsy on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • This soup is very healthy and good for health also.
    I am saying this because I have lately prepared this at home and it is easy to prepare and have goodness of herbs also.

    - best herbal incense on October 23, 2011 Reply
  • So perfect and so easy! This is my first time on your blog–I just googled fresh corn soup and found you. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

    - Liz on October 8, 2011 Reply
  • looks gorgeous- The color in itself is perfect!

    - cca on December 23, 2010 Reply
  • Just crazy-delicious. I’ve made several corn soups over the years, this is my favorite! I too wondered whether a heaping cup of shallots would overpower everything else, but it doesn’t. The soup has a nice balance of sweet and peppery flavors. Fresh corn is a must, get some before it’s all gone!

    - Britney on September 19, 2010 Reply
  • Made this last night and it was simple and fabulous! We all really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing :)

    - Gayle on September 13, 2010 Reply
  • I fixed a pot of this soup this afternoon–I love the recipe. At the end I added in some leftover cooked potato and mushroom and some cooked shrimp (my daughter’s idea). My family really liked it.

    - Lisa Lorigan on September 6, 2010 Reply
  • That is such a lovely soup. So glad you had a wonderful time in The Hamptons!

    - Kristen on September 4, 2010 Reply
  • So simple yet it looks so great. I love corn chowders and soup so this is a definite will make.

    - Miranda Merten on September 4, 2010 Reply
  • Wow Jen, sounds yummy! I think my CSA is offering the last corn this week, so I am def. going to do that – I’m all corned out and it sounds like a yummy alternative – but a whole cup of shallots? That won’t overpower the soup?

    - Chris Tucker on September 4, 2010 Reply
  • This sounds simple and delicious! I’ve really gotten into cooking with fresh corn this summer and this will definitely be a recipe I try.

    - Amy Kelly on September 4, 2010 Reply

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