Friday, June 25, 2010

Fresh Corn Soup with Basil and Tarragon

Fresh Corn Soup with Basil and Tarragon at Paprika Red

This is definitely one of those cases of simplicity is best. This soup is so good, I having a hard time getting past the superlatives of "really good" and "yummy". It's silky on the tongue, light and almost frothy, it's sweet from the corn, it has a little of that mild green bite from basil, and underneath it all is this tingly licorice from the tarragon. But this sounds weird when I write it out, so trust me when I say, it just works. All these little notes balance harmoniously, and while it tastes light and fresh, it satisfies deep down like soup should. You don't need to serve it piping hot, and you don't need to serve a lot, although I went back for seconds, and maybe a little more after that. It would make a great amuse for a summer dinner, for just you, or 10 friends. If you're feeling generous enough to share, that is.

Sweet Corn Soup with Basil and Tarragon

4 ears corn, cut off the cob, about 2 cups total
2 cups broth (I used chicken, you could use vegetable broth)
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 TB fresh tarragon
1/2 cup neutral oil, like canola
salt to taste
2 TB heavy cream

Shuck and cut your corn off the cob, you should have about 2 cups. In a small saucepan, simmer the corn and broth for about 30 minutes with the lid off, so it can reduce.

While this is simmering, blanch your herbs in simmering water for about 30 seconds or until they turn bright green, then shock in ice water to cool down. Pat very dry. With a hand blender or mini food processor, process the oil with the herbs until pureed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, keep the oil and discard the herbs.

After corn has simmered, puree with a hand blender or in a food processor or stand blender (be careful with hot liquids!), and pour through a fine mesh strainer, pushing on the solids. Return to the pot, stir in a TB or two of the flavored oil, a TB or two of the heavy cream, taste and adjust for salt, and serve, garnished with basil. Makes 3 cups.


  1. I'm going to try this! Sounds good.

  2. Chicken and beef broth are not vegetarian... but this sounds good if subbed with veg broth.

  3. Ketti, let me know what you think!
    Anonymous, you are right! I've amended my recipe and I will be more conscientious about my labeling.

  4. I tried this last night and served it as an appetiser in little shot glasses. It was lovely and all our guests enjoyed it.