- Dish type
- Vegetable soup
- Pepper soup
A smooth summer soup made with fresh sweetcorn, roasted red pepper and basil. I like to add a swirl of harissa oil in this dish, but it is optional.
Washington, United States
5 people made this
- 4 ears of corn, husk and silk removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, chopped
- 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, chopped
- fresh basil leaves to taste
- harissa oil to serve (optional)
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min
- Cut the corn off the cob and place it in a large bowl; transfer about 75g of the corn into a cup and set aside for adding to the soup after it has been pureed.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until softened. Add the carrots and celery; continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the corn and red pepper and pour in enough water to cover the vegetables.
- Bring to the boil; reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend the soup until smooth in a blender or food processor; transfer back into the pot and stir in reserved sweetcorn.
- Serve the soup drizzled with harissa oil and fresh basil leaves.
You can use homemade roasted red peppers if you prefer but best to peel them before using in this soup.
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Top Chef&rsquos Melissa King Shares the Winning Corn-Coconut Soup Recipe from Her Season
Melissa King is the winner of Top Chef season 17. In this week&aposs issue of PEOPLE, we asked chefs to submit their favorite recipe for our Best of All Time package. Read why King chose this winning vegetarian dish from the season, then get the recipe below to make it at home yourself.
We had a Top Chef challenge where we had to create a vegetarian dish with produce from the Santa Monica farmers market. This challenge was right up my alley. As a California-trained chef, I enjoy taking a humble vegetable and elevating it to another level!
I knew I wanted to work with sweet corn at the peak of summer, and decided to go completely plant-based with my dish by creating this corn-coconut soup. Soup is one of my favorite things to make—it’s seemingly simple but requires time to layer and build complex flavor.
In this recipe, the sweet corn kernels are blended into a velvety soup with a touch of creamy coconut milk. I even use the entire cob to make a flavorful base stock.
I won a Top Chef challenge with this soup, and I’m sure it’ll be a winning dish at home too.
Melissa King's Corn-Coconut Soup With Chile Oil
4 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs, cobs reserved
1 (1-in.) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
2½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 (13.66-oz.) can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
1. Thinly slice 1 onion set aside. Cut remaining onion into quarters. Place water, corn cobs, quartered onion and ginger in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat reduce to medium, and simmer 1 hour. Pour stock through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl discard solids.
2. While stock simmers, heat ½ cup oil in a small skillet over medium-high until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Place red pepper in a small heatproof bowl pour hot oil over, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through strainer into a heatproof bowl discard solids.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium. Add corn kernels, sliced onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups of the reserved corn stock bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes, adding more stock as needed to keep mixture covered by about 1 inch. Add coconut milk and lime juice. Remove from heat.
4. Working in batches, pour mixture into a blender. Secure lid remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until very smooth, 3 minutes per batch. Pour into a large heatproof bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 teaspoons salt to final batch before processing.
5. Pour soup through strainer into a pot discard solids. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with croutons and cilantro, if desired drizzle with chile oil.
Active time: 50 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Quick tip! Choose your own garnish: King likes croutons and cilantro but also suggests pickled shallots or diced roasted sweet peppers.
To begin, remove the husks and silks from the corn and set one ear of corn aside. Use a knife to cut the kernels off of the remaining 5 cobs, then break the scraped cobs in half. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the shallots.
Cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, corn kernels, broken cobs, whole ear of corn, salt, and pepper to the pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove the whole ear of corn and set aside to cool. Cook the soup for 10 minutes more, then remove the broken cobs from the pot and discard.
Use a handheld immersion blender to purée the soup until very smooth. Be patient it takes a while.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pass the soup through, using a back of a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions. Discard the fibers and bits of kernels in the sieve.
Return the strained soup to a clean pot. It should have a creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock if it’s too thin, cook over medium heat until thickened.
Use a knife to cut the cooked kernels off of the cooled whole cob, then add the kernels to the soup along with the herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (if necessary, you can add a bit of sugar to bring out the corn’s natural sweetness).
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh basil and thyme, if desired.
Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add corn season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is softened and beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes.
Add thyme sprigs and 5 cups water to pot. Bring corn mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until corn is very soft, 6–8 minutes longer discard thyme sprigs.
Working in batches, purée corn mixture in a blender until smooth (or use an immersion blender in the pot). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids discard solids. Transfer soup to a large bowl, cover, and chill until cold, at least 2 hours.
Lobster salad and assembly
Pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1” bring to a boil and salt generously. Add lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red, 8–10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Crack lobster shells, pick meat from tail and claws, and cut into bite-size pieces (you should have about 2 cups meat).
Whisk shallot, lemon juice, and mustard in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 Tbsp. oil season dressing with kosher salt and pepper. Add lobster meat, 3 Tbsp. celery leaves, and 1 Tbsp. tarragon toss gently to coat. Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
Divide soup among bowls and top with lobster salad and tarragon and celery leaves. Drizzle with oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD: Lobster can be cooked and picked 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Soup and lobster salad can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Toss lobster meat with celery leaves, tarragon, and dressing just before serving.
How would you rate Chilled Corn Soup with Lobster Salad?
This was so incredibly delicious I am making it for the second time in a week. Everyone loved it. I did make a stock with the corn cobs for extra flavor. I also added a few kernels back in after I puréed it. Otherwise followed the recipe as written.
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In a small bowl, mix miso and 1/4 cup soup broth until miso is dissolved. Stir miso mixture into soup along with cayenne and tamari.
Grilled Corn, Tomato, Feta, and Herb Salad
Tomato season is going to be over before you know it, so you should make the most of it while it's still here. This recipe pairs ripe tomatoes with grilled corn, plus salty feta and a variety of fresh herbs. With just a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, most of the flavor is coming from the produce, so make sure to get the best you can find.
Kristina Jug & Mitja Bezenšek
Food has been a passion of ours for a long time. Kristina is always cooking or prepping something and Mitja really loves to take pictures. We’d thought to combine the two and start a place where we could post what we were cooking and share recipes with our friends. Plus, it’s plenty of fun, AND we get to eat what we make at the end! On Vibrant Plate, we try to show you that cooking healthy and delicious seasonal food doesn’t have to be a big deal. We cook with basic ingredients that are commonly available and in season, to give you ideas on how to add more color and nutrient-rich foods to your diet.
Red pepper soup
I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. You see, I’ve told you about a lot of soups–I mean, a lot of soups–but I haven’t gotten to share with you this awesome red pepper soup I plucked from the New York Times nearly two years ago because I started this site just a little bit past pepper season.
So, for ten months, I have tap-tap-tapped my feet until peak peck-o-pepper-picking time came round again and I could tell you about what a find this soup really was. And yesterday, yesterday when I hadn’t planned to make dinner because I was tired and completely uninspired, on the way home it hit me that there is no more legitimate time of year to buy pepper than the present, and suddenly I was enticed into cooking again. So, I swung into Garden of Eden–which by the way, charges the same atrocious prices for bell peppers whether they’re in season or not–got the two ingredients I didn’t already have and burst into the apartment with a “Ta-da!” and a “Guess what!” and a “I finally get to make the red pepper soup tonight!”
People, you should have seen my one-and-only’s face. Tears of joy? Relief that he’d been saved from take-out boxes? Excitement that we were going to eat one of the best soups in my repertoire? Nope, didn’t happen, not even close. His expression was flat. Zero reaction. And then he said, “Couldn’t you just pickle them instead?”
What a pain in the peck. I mean, what does he think it is, like 95 degrees outside and not soup weather or something? Yawn. Really, can you tell me why people will eat cooked dishes and panini sandwiches and–this is the hardest for me to bear witness to–large, hot coffees in the most scorching days in July but if you suggest soup, they act like you’re smoking a pipe?
So we ordered in, which I may add is was warmer and heavier than soup, but tonight, as you may have guessed, I didn’t let anybody, even the one who washes the dishes (and carries the heavy groceries and always brings me water when I’m thirsty and, well now, I’m feeling kinda guilty, great!) talk me out of it.
I hope you appreciate what mountains I have to climb, what setbacks I have to overcome, what adversity I must persevere in the face of to share with you these beloved recipes. But even if you don’t, and really, that’s cool, I’ll just go pout in the corner for a while I’M NOT MAD, I do hope you try this soup, because I’ve owed it to you for ten months plus one day in now and I still think it was worth the wait.
[Note: This recipe got some fresh photos in 2020.]
Red Pepper Soup
Adapted from the New York Times 9/21/05
Note: You can watch an Instagram Story demo of this recipe over here.
Makes six large servings, 12 demitasse size.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/4 cup sliced onions
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
12 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Salt and white or black pepper
Crème fraîche for garnish
Thyme sprigs for garnish.
Put oil in large pot. Add onion when oil is hot. Cook onions until they begin to soften and take on color. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add wine and cook down quickly and on high heat, until only one tablespoon is left. Add peppers, stock, thyme and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes. In food processor or with an immersion blender, puree mixture in until smooth (if a food processor, in batches). Adjust seasonings to taste.
Soup can be served warm or chilled. Serve in demitasse cups or soup bowls, topped with a dab of crème fraîche and a tiny sprig of thyme.
Do ahead: Cover and chill overnight or for as long as 2 days or freeze (whisk well before serving if thawed).
Roasted Red Pepper Puree with Spicy Corn Salsa
Guests will be stunned by this outrageously colorful soup. The recipe calls for jarred peppers, for convenience, but you can roast your own, substituting 3 fresh bell peppers. Serve the soup with a simple cheese quesadilla or tortilla chips.
Roasted Red Pepper Puree with Spicy Corn Salsa
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 jar (24 oz./750 g) roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. minced jalapeño chile
1 Tbs. thinly sliced green onion, white and tender green parts
1 cup (6 oz./185 g) fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears), or 1 cup frozen corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and potato, stir to coat and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot, stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, to make the salsa, melt the butter in a small frying pan over high heat. Add the jalapeño and green onion and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the corn kernels, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with the corn salsa. Serves 4 to 6.
Find more soup recipes for every season and occasion in our cookbook Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day , by Kate McMillan.
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