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Sweet Corn Soup

(recipe, Aaron Barnett)

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Aaron Barnett, the former chef of Portland's 23Hoyt, adapted his mom's corn soup for the restaurant. The original recipe calls for chicken stock, but this variation uses vegetable stock or water instead. This delicious soup tastes mostly of sweet corn but has hints of cilantro, cumin, jalapeño, and lime.


    1. ¼ lb. butter
    2. 2 cups minced white onion
    3. 2 cloves minced garlic
    4. 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
    5. 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    6. 8 cups fresh corn (cut off the cob)
    7. ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
    8. 3 qt. vegetable stock (see Note) or water
    9. 2 cups heavy cream
    10. Juice of one lime
    11. Salt and pepper to taste
    1. ½ lime, cut into 8 wedges
    2. Cilantro leaves
    3. Fresh corn kernels
    4. Diced red radishes
    5. Finely diced jalapeño chiles


    1. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin until tender and translucent. Add the corn and cilantro and continue cooking until tender. Add the vegetable stock or water and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
    2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Using an immersion blender (or an ordinary blender, being careful not to spray hot soup everywhere), purée the soup and then strain it through a fine-meshed sieve. Add the lime juice to the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Garnish each cup or bowl of soup with a squeeze of lime juice, a cilantro leaf, a teaspoon of corn kernels, and a pinch each of diced red radish and jalapeño.


    To make an easy vegetable stock, combine a couple of carrots, a celery stalk, half an onion, the corn cobs from the cut corn, and a handful of cilantro stems in a large stock pot with 3 1/2 quarts of water. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 to 2 hours. Strain.