Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Herbs

Tested & Perfected Recipes

With only a few simple ingredients, this corn soup has an intense corn flavor that tastes just like summer.

summer corn soup

I’ve daydreamed about a vacation in the Hamptons for a very long time — probably something to do with my long-standing Barefoot Contessa habit, watching too much Sex and The City back in the day, and the set from one of my all-time favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give (that house!). So I was thrilled when my husband’s friend invited us to visit his beach house in the Hamptons last weekend. I have to say, it was was even lovelier than I’d imagined: beautiful beaches, sprawling shingle-style estates hidden by giant boxwoods, charming towns dotted with antique stores, and lots of quaint markets and farm stands.

hamptons

I didn’t get to do any cooking while we were there but I couldn’t help but be inspired by all the farm-fresh produce. I bought loads of fresh corn from a roadside market to bring home as a souvenir. Once I got into the kitchen, I figured we’d all kinda OD’d on corn on the cob so this creamy corn soup was just the ticket. With only a few simple ingredients, it has an intense corn flavor that tastes just like summer.

What You’ll Need To Make Summer Corn Soup

how to make corn soup

Feel free to play with the recipe: substitute your favorite herbs, garnish it with chopped tomatoes or red peppers, or luxe it up with a swirl of heavy cream.

How To Make Summer Corn Soup

how to make corn soup

To begin, remove the husks and silks from the corn and 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.

how to make corn soup

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the shallots.

how to make corn soup

Cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes.

how to make corn soup

Add the chicken stock, corn kernels, broken cobs, whole ear of corn, salt, and pepper to the pot.

how to make corn soup

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

how to make corn soup

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.

how to make corn soup

Use a handheld immersion blender to purée the soup until very smooth. Be patient; it takes a while.

how to make corn soup

Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pass the soup through, using a back of a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions. Discard the fibers and bits of kernels in the sieve.

how to make corn soup

Return the strained soup to a clean pot. It should have a creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock; if it’s too thin, cook over medium heat until thickened.

how to make corn soup

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).

how to make corn soup

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh basil and thyme, if desired.

summer corn soup

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Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Herbs

With only a few simple ingredients, this corn soup has an intense corn flavor that tastes just like summer.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

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

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. It will take a few minutes. (Alternatively, 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.) Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pass the soup through, using a back of a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions. Discard the fibers and bits of kernels in the sieve. Return the strained soup to a clean pot. It should have a creamy consistency. If it's too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock; 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 and thyme, if desired. Serve hot or cold.
  5. Note: If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, you may be able to skip the step of straining the soup.
  6. Note: Be sure to get fresh-picked corn and cook it as soon as possible. As soon as it is picked, corn starts converting sugar to starch which reduces sweetness. If you're not going to cook it right away, store it in the refrigerator as it slows down the conversion process.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Loved it!! So easy and so flavorful. I didn’t push it through the sieve at the end bcs I was short on time. I liked the thick consistency. Another winner!!

    • — Jackie on September 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious—I added more shallots and threw in some lovage from my garden. Added the fresh thyme while simmering, and then for serving topped with fresh chives. Wonderful recipe as always Jenn.

    • — Sandy on September 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious! 4-yr old granddaughter loved it and she doesn’t eat soup! Go figure

    • — ANNE STINE LADY on August 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Last night sipping martini’s and waiting for charred medium rare fillets to arrive, our foodie group was trading “new recipe” stories. I regaled how I found my way to your corn soup….I did not want a “chowder” with cream or milk….what you’ve shared Jenn had me tell the group that if fictionally Alice Waters had a gifted protege (you), that she would have declared you surpassing her brilliance with this soup. It was that fabulous…2 notes from my kitchen would be to always use my high powered blender to create this amazement, with no straining any of the solids. As you’ve said, they do fully emulsify into the soup, and gosh the viscosity was pure heaven. And secondly, of course it is crucial to find fresh summer corn on the cob for this. I want to make this for everyone I love for the remaining summer ahead. Big thanks Jenn for what you’ve shared….I forgot to mention that my only tweak from your recipe did have to do with what I was looking for….pure sweet corn…I omitted all herbs.

    • — Jeff Winett on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • YUM! I did add a little heavy cream and bacon bits. Served with her crab cakes!

    • — Diane baum on July 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • So yummy!!
    I had two bowls, couldn’t stop :))
    Where I live most corn soups are sweet and I just can’t eat them.
    So this one is perfect!
    I also added just a bit of fresh cream when serving it.
    Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • — Ildi on July 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • loved this recipe! I only used fresh basil. Loved the milk from the cob that is released into the soup. has the depth of a chowder without the heaviness

    • — Kelly Guenther on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am a member of a CSA and I always get so much corn which I love but you can only have so much corn on the cob. I found this recipe and me and my family loves it!! It’s February and I am making it with corn I froze from the summer. I garnish it with bacon bits, yum.

    • — Doris on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • My wife’s favorite soup. Thank you!

    • — Ignacio Benitez on February 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this last summer when fresh corn was in season. The brilliance of using corn cobs creates such an intense flavor! I froze a few containers and it’s summer when I eat this.

    • — Caroline on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe. Always a fan favorite. Easy to make and freezes like a dream. The flavor improves the with time. I have made this soup at least a dozen times and there is never enough. No one returns my Tupperware. Now I see why Oprah is so stingy with hers.

    • — Howard Roth on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my favorite go to recipe right now. It freezes really well too. The directions are perfect. I use the handheld blender and it works nicely. I use a fine colander to strain it. Do make this and get kudos from friends and family.

    • — Polly on November 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • I found this soup to be far too thin, and after simmering to thicken somewhat, it tasted like undiluted condensed soup – unfortunately, a complete waste of homemade chicken stock.

    • — Tara on October 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thank you for your recipe. I love it. I ate my first corn soup in a nice small restaurant in New York years ago. It was delicious. This kind of soup is not common in Germany. Thanks again. Wish you all the best. BELLA

    • — Bella on September 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Your description of the Hamptons was enlightening to me. You are an inspiration. Thank you again 💓

    • — Etta on September 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Best corn soup ever! I’m a lover of farm fresh corn but I too have OD’d on grilled corn over the summer. This was the best side dish for a “cool” summer day. Tasted like summer indeed. Jenn, your recipes have changed my life & my love for cooking. I signed up as a recipe tester for your 2nd cook book and will be providing feedback soon. Please consider a zoom book tour, would love to call in & listen to you talk about good food!

    • — Jennifer on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe Jenn! I’m thinking that some lump crab meat might be a good addition.

    • — Jim Orvis on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Agree!

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is the first recipe I’ve tried from Once Upon a Chef that wasn’t an easy 5 stars. The taste was nice, but the texture wasn’t right. I don’t think my corn cobs were particularly small, but the ratio of 6 cups of liquid to 6 corn seemed like—and was—way too much. Even before blending, I took out a cup of stock, and then after blending and sieving I boiled it to reduce it for quite a long time. The texture just never came together. And it’s a LOT of work for relatively little soup. If I were you, I’d pass on this one!

    • — Kate on August 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • This soup is amazing! My kids gobbled it all up. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • — Koleen on August 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • Do not use that much thyme or basil, you’ll ruin it. Seriously, just find a different recipe on the internet.

    • — Eric on August 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this today (strained) and plan to serve it tonight, garnished with fried sage. I did end up cooking it a little longer after straining it to cook down to a slightly thicker consistency. I plan to freeze leftovers. So much corn flavor in this soup.

    • — Terri Bowman on August 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Over the top delicious! Added just a touch of garlic powder and splash
    of sriracha. This is my first review,
    even though I have been cooking
    your recipes for a long time. Always can count on home run results. Thank you for what you do
    So well! During this time especially, bringing joy to the table.
    Pam

    • — Pam Brandes on August 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight, it was delicious! I didn’t strain the soup after using the immersion blender, and it was still a great texture. I used two full 32 Oz cartons of chicken broth because I didn’t want to end up throwing half a carton out, and it was still full of great flavor. I might keep two ears while, just as a personal preference, because I loved getting the whole kernels. I also added a little apple cider vinegar. Am definitely going to try this in the winter with frozen corn!

    • — Amy on July 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight. Was delicious as written. After tasting I added 1/2 cup light cream to use it up AND some lobster meat b/c lobsters were on sale for $5.99/lb. I’d make it again with and without my additions for sure.

    • — Lindsay on June 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • What a great idea! I definitely want to try it with the cream and lobster meat. Thanks!

      • — Limaries on November 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Could you make this soup with frozen corn? Thank you!

    • — Selina on May 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Selina, this is definitely best with fresh corn, but I think you could get away with frozen. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this last night and it was fantastic. I didn’t have shallots so I used white onion and added a few garlic cloves while simmering the onion and butter. Also, I did not use a sieve (the consistency didn’t bother us) after the immersion blender step. I cheated and added a few Tablespoons of sour cream because I have a huge container to get rid off. This was super good and my hubby and my corn loving son went nuts over it. I’m thinking a few roasted pepitas could be a fun addition to try. Great recipe! I also ordered your cook book yesterday as every time I search the Internet for a recipe, I’m always drawn to your blog. Can’t wait to thumb through it in person to get even more inspired by your creations.

    • — Angela Cowardin on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this and thanks for your support with the cookbook! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi,
    I love your recipes. I am a trained home chef (if that’s a thing). Even tho I have not made any of your recipes yet, I KNOW that corn soup is going to be amazing! The brussels sprout salad looks perfect too! Can’t wait to impress my guests!

    • — Vince on October 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hope you enjoy whatever you try! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • I would like to ask what were the sizes of the corns used, were they small, medium or large?

    • — Yuri on October 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Yuri, You could get away with any sized ears because there’s not a ton of variation, but I’d probably opt for the medium-sized. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • The best corn soup recipe I’ve ever made. I loved it and received excellent feedback from friends and family.

  • Simple ingredients, easy to follow. I was pleasantly surprised how creamy it was without adding any cream. Flavor was fantastic. With my husband being sensitive to dairy this will be a go to for the hot summer months.

    • Hi Jen, looking forward to making this soup. My question is can a blender be used instead of an immersion blender? Would the consistency be the same? Thanks!

      • — Yolanda on August 7, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure, Yolanda – a blender will work well. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 7, 2020
        • Reply
  • Fantastic soup! Incredibly creamy without a drop of cream….glad not to have the extra calories. I’ll admit to using the ‘old’ corn from a major grocery, but it didn’t seem to matter…great flavor with the chicken broth, salt and pepper. I added a chiffonade of basil as garnish and left out the thyme because I didn’t have any. I also used chicken base and water to make the broth, but cut back a smidge on the salt, until tasting the end result.

    After cutting the kernels off, I used the back of the knife to slough off the bits of kernal left on the cob. I was surprised at how quickly it came together…only 20 minutes of cooking. I used a Vitamix for about 5 minutes, which didn’t completely pulverize the fiber. I didn’t mind the consistency, so didn’t bother to strain it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I can always count on having a delicious dish when I follow your recipes and look forward to trying more.

    • Jen thanks so much, this is is fantastic! I’ve made it twice now, is so delicious and easy!

      • — Yolanda on August 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • We truly loved this and found it very simple. I used a Vitamix (did not sieve) and is was perfect. The basil is key. Thank you for a keeper recipe!

  • Just finished making this and put in fridge to cool (til someone gets home). It’s SO intense, I love it! Wondering if it could save some of the pulp to mix into corn muffins…feeding it to the chickens instead.

    • Hi Mary, Are you referring to what remains in the sieve when you pour the soup through it? If so, don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Hope you enjoy the soup!

  • This recipe was way too much work, with not as good a result as some I’ve tried from “Once Upon a Chef”. Good fresh corn is only available in August when the kitchen is hot. This soup involves a lot of cooking and preparation. The final flavor was okay, but not spectacular.

    • — Greta Peterson
    • Reply
  • I make this corn soup numerous times the abundance of corn overflows in the farmers’ markets . I make the recipe exactly, except I sometimes forgo the thyme, or add parsley.. i always include basil. As the corn season wanes, I make batches of the soup, and freeze it. When I prepare the frozen soup, I add a bit of cream, and guve the soup another whirl with immersion blender. A delicious taste of summer.

  • Delicious. Easy. Fresh.

    I received several ears of corn in my CSA box for the week and this recipe arrived at the perfect time! I had all the ingredients already in the pantry so whipping this soup up took little effort. The soup is light and creamy. I froze half of it to enjoy as a quick weeknight dinner later on!

  • Made this tonight – so delicious, fast, and easy. I did not have shallots, so used red onion and a clove of garlic instead. 30 seconds in the Vitamix blender made the soup very smooth. Can’t wait to make this again.

  • Great recipe and really simple too. I was lazy and didn’t sieve the soup, and it was still pretty excellent with some bite from the blended corn. Garnish with bacon bits for some crunch (the bacon’s pretty salty so the salt in the recipe can be halved).

  • Hi Jenn,
    Does this soup freeze well?
    We just did an emergency harvest of our garden (snow is in the forecast! Oh, the challenges of living in northern Canada.) I have corn to spare and was thinking of making a triple batch of this recipe.
    Thanks!

    • Snow in September – you must be a trooper!! 🙂 Yes, this soup will freeze nicely. Enjoy!

  • I have several ears of leftover cooked corn. Can this be modified so that I can use that corn instead of uncooked ears? Thanks.

    • Hi Kathy, I think it’s fine to use the cooked corn in the soup. Just reserve one ear for the corn that will be added at the very end. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

  • I love making soup. I followed these directions to a tee and although it was good I felt it needed to go to another level. I added a 16 ounce jar of mild salsa ( undrained) and 2 cans of great northern beans ( drained and rinsed). The result was OVER THE TOP DELICIOUS!!!!!!! Now THAT’S what I call soup.

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