Based on a French influenced Japanese dish called corn potage (コーンポタージュ), this soup is rich, creamy, and naturally sweet, with a good amount of spice coming from the paprika drizzle.
In Japan, corn potage rivals curry as a comfort food. And like curry, it is a European import, originating in medieval France where they cooked vegetables until they formed a thick porridge. Curry came to Japan via the UK, the colonial power ruling India for 190 years.
There is something about sweet corn that I have never tired of. The childhood memories are still vivid: sweet corn from the garden, boiled, then smothered in melted butter and sprinkled with salt. While I still enjoy corn prepared in this most simple of ways, I have been working on some additional recipes that feature this versatile vegetable. Take a look at the Corn and green onion waffles.
The paprika and chilli drizzle is not a traditional addition, but an experiment that worked really well. I was very lucky to receive some wonderful smoked paprika from some friends in Spain. The real thing. And it certainly does have a richer more complex flavour than those generic spice jars from the local supermarket. This drizzle lifts the already delicious corn soup to a whole other level. I have had a run of experiments fail recently, so it was motivating for one to work so well.
The vegetable stock was one I made myself. Follow the link in the Ingredients. If you don’t have some in your freezer already, and don’t have the time to make a new batch, buy a low sodium vegetable stock from your local supermarket.
I served the soup with some mini-baguettes, drizzled with a herb-infused olive oil, and crisped up in the oven for a few minutes.
Corn soup with a paprika drizzle
- 3 cobs corn husks removed
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 1 medium potato peeled and diced
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and diced
- 20 g butter
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 150 ml cooking cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In a large saucepan, add the vegetable stock, potato, and corn cobs.
- Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to a high simmer.
- Cook for 10 minutes then turn off the heat.
- Remove the corn cobs and allow to cool until easy to handle.
- Cut the kernels from the cobs. Retain some intact kernels for a garnish.
- Return the corn cobs, without the kernels, to the stock. They still have lots of taste to extract.
- Bring the stock back to a high simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
- Add the corn kernels and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Remove the corn cobs from the stock and discard.
- Slowly add the stock, which still has the potato in it, to the onion and kernels, stirring constantly.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, or normal blender, to blend the kernels, potato, and stock to a smooth consistency.
- Strain the blended soup to remove any remaining solids. There will be some kernel skins that need to be removed so that the soup has a nice smooth consistency.
- Add the cream, then bring to a low simmer.
- Check and adjust seasoning.
- Mix the ingredients well
- Ladle the warm soup into bowls.
- Drizzle some of the paprika mixture over the soup.
- Carefully drop a piece of the intact corn kernels on top. Best do that at the table, as they may sink when you move the soup bowls.