Sweet Corn Soup Recipe with Bacon and Potatoes
This sweet corn soup recipe is an ode to the end of summer. A time to revel in the bounty of the harvest and enjoy the last few warm days and nights. This corn soup is for those nights.
You can thank or blame mr. uglyducklingbakery for this one. I suggested a corn soup during our weekly meal planning, and he started to list all of the things I needed to add to make a super chunky soup. Potatoes. Bacon.
Everything is better with bacon.
Tips and tricks for this sweet corn soup recipe
Making the corn broth
Cutting the kernels off of the cob is easy. The hard part is not making a mess.
To make this soup, first shuck the corn and try to remove as many of the silky threads as you can. I hold the cob vertically with my left hand and then slowly slice downward with the knife, keeping the knife at the base of the kernels.
The corn cobs plus carrots, celery, onions, garlic, potatoes, and herbs and spices will be used to make the corn broth.
Transfer the broth to a large pot and strain out the corn cobs and vegetables. Those spent vegetables will go into the compost.
Making the corn soup
The sweet corn soup ingredients are shown below. The color on that purple cutting board just looks wrong.
ProTip: If you use a hand-held stick blender to purée soups, please make sure to unplug it before you clean it! You can read more about this and other hazards in the kitchen from a doctor’s perspective.
FAQs about this sweet corn soup recipe
The corn we eat is “sweet corn,” but there are other types of corn, typically labelled “field corn”. This is the corn you see in fields in early fall, which is destined to become feed for livestock.
When I was a vegetarian for over a decade starting in the 1990’s, traditionalists told me that “stock” is always made from bones, and so there could be no such thing as a vegetable stock. At this point, we’ve all been using the term “vegetable stock” forever, so in my opinion you’re fine to use it. But “vegetable broth” is never wrong.
You don’t ever have to do anything. You could simplify it and shorten the cooking time by about 30 minutes by making a corn cob broth only. Add the cobs to a pot, cover them with water, and boil for 5 minutes. Or, if you want a deeper flavor, you can do the same thing but sub in store-bought vegetable or chicken broth.
Yay, another Venn diagram! In this case, “soup” defines the broad category. A chowder is a type of soup that is creamy and chunky. A bisque is another type of creamy soup, but a bisque is smooth. So think of chowders and bisques as non-overlapping circles within the big circle of soup.
Exactly. You’d add a half cup of cream at the final stage after pureeing and gently re-heat the soup to warm it. Just know that cream-based soups don’t freeze well. So if you are planning to make a double batch to freeze some, you would want to separate out the part for freezing before you add the cream.
Absolutely. This would be a great use of leftover roast chicken, just like my cranberry chicken salad. Shred or chop cooked chicken, add it in the final stage after pureeing to warm it, and you’ve got chicken sweet corn soup.
The bacon provides a smoky flavor to the soup, but of course you could omit it. Use olive oil to cook the onions. To get some of that smoky flavor, you might consider garnishing the soup with some chopped roasted red peppers.
Sure. If it’s winter and you’re dreaming of sweet corn soup, go ahead and sub in frozen corn and a basic vegetable or chicken broth.
Beer would work. Or, if you want wine, pick a light, crisp white wine. We enjoyed this with a Muscadet from the Loire Valley (Château de La Bigotière 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine) that we got from the Portalis wine club.
It’s late summer and my garden is overflowing with patty pan squash, so my first thought is squash fritters. Or make some biscuits or cornbread and serve it with a side salad.
Absolutely. If you’ve decided to add cream, please read that FAQ. Otherwise this soup can be frozen for 3 to 6 months. Reheat gently on the stovetop.
Check out other soup recipes including this roasted broccoli soup, a garbanzo bean soup, or an easy four-ingredient potato soup.
A Sweet Corn Soup Recipe with Bacon and Potatoes
- Blender or food processor
- 4 corn cobs from 4 ears of corn, kernels reserved for the soup
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3-5 small new potatoes, quartered
- 1 medium to large carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 clove clove
- 1 sprig rosemary or other herb
- 10-15 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- water to cover
Sweet corn soup
- 4 strips bacon
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups corn broth from above
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- ½ cup cream optional
- 1 green onion, green part only, chopped
- Shuck the corn and remove as much of the silk as possible. Slice off all the kernels from the cob and save the corn kernels in a bowl.4 corn cobs from 4 ears of corn, kernels reserved for the soup
- Add the corn cobs and all of the remaining ingredients to a large soup pot, and cover with water.1 onion, roughly chopped, 1 medium to large carrot, chopped, 2 stalks celery, chopped, 1 clove clove, 1 sprig rosemary or other herb, 10-15 black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon salt, water to cover, 3-5 small new potatoes, quartered
- Heat the pot on high and cover. When boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Use a sieve to strain the broth into another pot, and discard the vegetables.
Sweet corn soup recipe
- Wipe out the soup pot and cook the bacon on medium low until crispy.4 strips bacon
- Remove the bacon to a plate covered in a paper towel and discard all but one tablespoon. Once it has cooled, chop the bacon into small pieces and separate out a tablespoon or so for garnish.
- Meanwhile, add the onions to the soup pot and cook on low until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.½ yellow onion, chopped
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute.2 cloves garlic, minced
- Add the flour and stir constantly for one minute so that the flour does not burn.¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Add one cup of the corn broth and use your spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.4 cups corn broth
- Add the remaining broth and the potatoes, cover, and cook at a simmer until the potatoes can be just barely pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes.4 cups corn broth, 1 pound new potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
- Turn off the heat, add the corn, and let the soup cool slightly. Then carefully transfer about one half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the soup pot. The soup can be held at this point, if necessary.
- Turn the burner to low and add the chopped bacon, parsley, and cream, if using, to gently heat the soup through.¼ cup parsley, chopped, ½ cup cream
- Garnish with the reserved bacon and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.1 green onion, green part only, chopped
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I will likely be using CANNED or FROZEN corn – how many cups would that be?
Thanks so much for the question, Monika! The four cobs of corn should yield about 2 cups of corn kernels, which is about 12 ounces (3/4 of a pound). Personally, I hate being leftover with half a can of something, so feel free to add a bit more or a bit less, depending on your packaging.
Please let me know if you have other questions. And comment if you make it!
p.s. I’d choose frozen corn over canned, if you can get both.