chilled corn and cucumber soup
One of the best things about summer is that it’s full of produce so good, it’s almost a shame to cook it. Every time I buy berries or fruit I wince at the thought of transforming them into something other than their natural state. Sure, I love pies and crumbles and jams as much as the next fruit junkie, but in this season, fresh and raw are sometimes best. Of course, it doesn’t stop me from baking and cooking fruit, I just always have second thoughts about it. And yes, pies and crumbles just don’t taste the same when the fruit is not in season or is frozen. I did however, manage to pull together a fresh corn soup that keeps the freshness of corn intact, while allowing you to do something different with it.
This soup is many things: fresh, raw, refreshing in the muggy heat of summer, vegetarian and vegan friendly, and best of all – a cinch to make in the kitchen. You could make this late at night after getting home from a grueling day at work and it will take you no more than 15 minutes! In the time it might take you to order a pizza, you could make this soup. Without even approaching your stove and making your already-hot apartment or house even hotter. Are you intrigued?
Other than the slight messiness of cutting the kernels off the cob, this is fun and easy. Yes, you need a blender or a food processor for this, perhaps the soup’s only drawback. But all in all, this is a pretty energy-efficient soup if you think about it. With all the talk as of late of reducing your carbon footprint and with energy costs sky-high, you help the environment by not using the stove and thereby leave a few extra dollars in your pocket to treat yourself to a summer margarita – which, if the soup fails to take the edge off after the long day at work, the margarita surely will.
Chilled Corn and Cucumber Soup
3 ears of corn on the cob
1 cup vegetable stock
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper with seeds and pulp
1 tsp salt
But the corn off the cob – this may be messy and your kitchen might be covered with a few kernels here and there. You can clean it up later, but just be forewarned. Puree the corn in a food processor adding half a cup of vegetable stock to facilitate the process.
Peel and cut the cucumber in 1 inch pieces. Add the cucumber to the corn mixture and continue to pulse until pureed. Add the remaining stock to help emulsify.
Continue to pulse through and add the lime juice, the jalapeno pepper, and cilantro until well blended.
Season with salt and chill before serving. The soup actually tastes better the next day after the flavors had a chance to develop and blend together better, but it’s also exceptionally good as soon as it’s made.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
This will be a great soup for the small seedless cucumbers that are coming to the market now. I don’t know what they’re called, but they are sweet, about an inch in diameter, and maybe 6-7 inches long. Very crispy and delicious.
Lydia, I think they might be called Kirby cucumbers? Do they have little bumps on them? I love those – I grew up eating them in Russia and they’re my absolute favorite!
What a great photo! That really does sound like the perfect summer soup. I’m glad you advocate the fresh corn on the cob approach. We get fresh, sweet white corn around these parts and that sounds like a perfect use for them.
This is definitely on my list of things to try! I might top it with a few grilled prawns! mmmmmmm
EB – the white corn would be the best here!
Tracy – not only will that look beautiful but taste great too – great idea.
Kenneth – let me know if the kids like it – it’ll be great if they do – cinch to make and is good for them!
I’m betting this would be great with plain yogurt in it. Mmm.
I love your food pictures, by the way. How are you lighting them?
Food Is Love
Debs, to the extent that is possible I try to use daylight – it’s easier now because it’s summer and if I cook at night, I can still catch some natural light. However, in most cases, I rely on my trusty speedlight SB 600 (or was it 400?) Anyway, a good flash will do a lot of good for a picture. As for yogurt, yes, I think that might work quite well – I kept dairy out of it, as my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, but I would have added something dairy otherwise!! Thank you for the compliment – you are very kind.
I made a similar soup a while back with buttermilk and cumin–but no corn, which would have made it perfect. I’ll have to try it again, combining it with some of your recipe. Also, what about substituting a tomatillo for the lime? I try tossing those into as many summer recipes as possible.
Ooo I can’t wait to try this soup… maybe I’ll make it for a picnic tomorrow!
THE CUCUMBER LYNDIA WAS ASKING ABOUT IS CALLED AN ENGLISH CUCUMBER
I just slurped the last of this for lunch– it was delicious. I love when you read a recipe on a blog, get off the train to see the farmers table with corn and cucumber right in front of you, and know what you will be having for dinner. With a salad (and a piece of blueberry buckle afterwards), it was the perfect summer meal. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jen, I would actually add tomatillo too, but keep the lime – I just love lime in the summer!
Carly – i’m SO glad you liked the soup — i think it’s definitely a keeper and so easy!
gerry in georgia
Ok call me stupid ,,,but keep in mind this is a first for me,,,but do you cook the corn first and can you use canned corn or frozen corn?
LEARNING ALONG THE WAY!
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP,
I made this recipe for 60 people at a recent family reunion (multiplying the recipe by 20). However, because the early August corn was so sweet, I halved the cucumber and lime in the recipe. I also added a half cup of sour cream (times 20 of course). It was the perfect starter for a summer, outdoor banquet and everyone raved about it.
Question: In the directions, it is written: “But the corn.” Should this be “Cut the corn?” (I hope other chefs understand that the corn cob should be milked (scraped) as well).
hi Gerry, sorry to be getting so late to you on this… comment spam is attacking me and i have been digging self out of it. You don’t cook the corn, just cut it off the stalk. And I would not use frozen or canned corn here – the soup will really lose its fresh corn quality if something other than corn on the cob is used. It’s a good soup to make this time of year, when corn is in season. Hope this helps.