Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Chilled Corn Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr 10 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings



  1. Cut the corn: Hold an ear of corn upright with one end on the cutting board and the other in your non-cutting hand. Use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels in rows from the cob. Rotate the corn and cut close enough to the core so that the kernels remain relatively whole, but not so closely that you end up taking fibrous pieces of the cob with you. Repeat with all of the corn. Gather the kernels in a bowl and reserve the cobs.
  2. Start the soup: Combine half the olive oil and all the scallions with a generous pinch salt and 1/4 cup water in a large saute pan and cook over medium-low heat until they are translucent and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cook the corn: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same saute pan and add all the corn kernels. Season with salt, then stir in the brown sugar and a generous pinch black pepper. Cook over medium heat until the corn becomes tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Finish: Bring the half-and-half and 1 cup water to a gentle simmer in a medium pot over medium heat and add the cobs. Simmer the cobs gently on low heat until they impart their corn flavor to the half-and-half, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard the cobs. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce and stir to combine. Add the cooked corn and scallions to the pot and simmer on low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Puree half of the liquid and corn in the blender until smooth and pour back into the rest of the soup. Refrigerate until fully cold, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  6. Serve: Whisk to blend so some of the remaining corn lands in each bowl as you serve the soup. Taste for seasoning. Ladle into the bowls.

Cook’s Note

The trick with corn soup is to harness the sweetness of the corn when it's raw, and the earthy, starchy notes when it's cooked. To clean the corn of its silk, use a damp, sturdy kitchen towel to wipe the cobs. Fun fact: For each kernel of corn on a cob, there is one piece of silk—so that makes for a lot of cleaning! I serve this soup cold, and it's both refreshing and satisfying. Make ahead and let it get super cold before serving. You can also puree all of the soup so it's completely smooth, or gently heat and serve warm instead of chilled!