This is the third recipe on Oh My Veggies that starts with the words "fresh corn." I thought of a few alternate names after I realized that, but Fresh Corn Soup with Herbed Croutons fits so much better. Because it's fresh! It's not a heavy corn chowder. It's a light soup. Perfect for summer. And it's made with fresh corn—both the kernels and the cobs. The sweet broth made from simmering the cobs with thyme and water is the secret to the fresh flavor of this soup.
And really, fresh is the best part of summer, isn't it? I'm not a fan of the humidity or mosquitos or sunburn, but I love fresh fruits and vegetables. It's so exciting to go to the farmers market and be greeted by colorful heirloom tomatoes and strawberries instead of the sea of green that dominates in spring. (Although I like greens too!) And I've been loving the fact that I can get (almost) all the fresh herbs I need from the herb garden we put in last month.
I used a combination of oregano, dill, lemon thyme, chives, rosemary, and sage in the herbed croutons for this soup, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have access to. And if you don't have an herb garden, well, don't go to the grocery store and buy six different packages of fresh herbs! That would be ridiculously expensive. Just use thyme since you'll be needing to buy that for the broth anyway.
Oftentimes when I'm making a soup recipe that calls for croutons, I skip making them. But I implore you, don't do that with this recipe! The soup is creamy and delicious without them, but the croutons are the finishing touch that makes all the difference. Between the fresh corn soup and the fresh herbed croutons, this recipe is the best of summer (in a soup bowl).
For Herbed Croutons:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cubed bread to bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until baked through and golden brown. Set aside.
For Fresh Corn Soup
- Place corn cobs and thyme in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Reserve ¾ of corn kernels; puree the rest in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
- Once broth is finished, remove cobs and thyme sprigs and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Return pot or Dutch oven to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Once oil has heated, add reserved corn kernels. Saute 2–3 minutes or until just beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add corn puree and cook 3 minutes more or until thickened, stirring constantly. Add corn broth and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a small handful of herbed croutons.
This recipe was originally published on 11 June 2012.