Erin McDowell

Q: Why didn’t anyone laugh at the gardener’s jokes? A: Because they were too corny! (Ba-dum-chhhh...) And now back to our regularly scheduled recipe: velvet corn soup. We sauté kernels cut right off the cob with leeks and carrots, then blend the veggies with stock, cream and seasonings. Just top each bowl of silky-smooth soup with more crunchy corn (why not?) and fresh basil for an elegant dish that’s corny in the best way possible.

Velvet Corn Soup

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Start to Finish: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch leeks, thinly sliced

2 carrots, chopped

6 ears corn, kernels removed (about 4 cups)

⅓ cup white wine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¾ cup heavy cream (optional)

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup chopped basil, for garnish

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and carrots, and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside 1 cup corn for garnish; add the remaining corn to the pot and continue to cook until all the vegetables are very soft and tender, 2 to 3 minutes more.

2. Add the wine to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is almost completely reduced, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.

3. Season the soup with cumin, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and black pepper. Continue simmering until the soup has developed a good flavor, 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender (or you can use a regular blender or food processor) until it’s smooth. For an extra-silky effect, strain the pureed soup through a fine-mesh sieve. Taste the soup and season again with salt and pepper as desired. If using, stir in the heavy cream and return the soup to a simmer.

5. In a small pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the reserved 1 cup corn kernels and sauté until tender and lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with 2 tablespoons corn kernels, 1 tablespoon chopped basil and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Cool down: This soup is delicious chilled. Make a batch and store it in the fridge for an easy weeknight meal.

  • The cream in this recipe is optional, but if you want that extra creaminess without the dairy, here’s what to do: Replace the butter with olive oil, and the heavy cream with coconut milk.