Corn Soup with Basil Oil

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Summer may not seem like the ideal season for soup but this recipe from Chris Coombs will have you pulling out the bowls and spoons before you know it. Using two of August’s bumper crops – corn and basil – Coombs creates a dish that’s sweet, silky, bright and vibrant – all at once. Turn up the AC and have some soup.


Servings: 8


for the soup
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 quarts corn kernels, cobs reserved
  • 1 quart corn stock (recipe below)
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
for the basil oil
  • 1 pound basil
  • 1 cup baby spinach, packed
  • 1 cup canola oil


for the soup
  1. For corn stock, place corn cobs in large sauce pot, cover just barely with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off and let steep for 45 minutes. Remove corn cobs and reserve liquid.
  2. Melt butter in medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until translucent.
  3. Add the corn kernels and cook until tender, 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add corn stock and milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer gently over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully transfer mixture in batches to the blender and puree until smooth. Be careful as the hot mixture will expand in the blender!
  6. For an even silkier texture, pass through a fine mesh sieve. Add the sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
for the basil oil
  1. Pick the basil leaves from the basil, using only leaves that are very green.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch basil and spinach together for 1.5 minutes.
  3. Remove from water and immediately shock in an ice water bath.
  4. Squeeze all the water from the leaves by hand, and then wring dry in a clean dish towel.
  5. Place leaves and oil in the blender and blend on high speed until the mixture is very hot.
  6. Pour into a bowl set on ice and stir until completely chilled.
  7. Strain oil through a coffee filter. (This will be a very slow process; be patient!).
to serve
    Fill each bowl with 8 ounces of warm soup and drizzle randomly with basil oil.

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