Smokey Corn Soup

Shop Ingredients


3 corn cobs
1-2 mild chilli, for flavour and a bit of heat
1 small capsicum
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups (800ml) water
3 tbsp butter (or olive oil if dairy free)
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chipotle powder or smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup (125ml) milk or cream (perhaps soy or coconut milk or cashew cream for dairy free)
fresh basil or coriander on top


It’s true, we are almost at the end of sweet corn season. Summer has had its fling, and soon gnawing on a fresh corn cob will be the stuff of nostalgia. Thought we better squeeze in a bit more corn love while we can. This feels like a true autumn soup, and suits the mood at the moment – not quite ready to launch into winter, but happy for a warming soup, hot chilli and some crusty bread.

This one is an iteration of the recipe I found here, from David Lebovitz. His version is actually itself an iteration of another… and so the online recipe chain continues. But back to the soup – not the most photogenic, but so very very tasty. Crank up the chilli heat to your liking, the smokiness to your palate, and milk/cream to your desire for creaminess. Top with fresh basil or coriander, depending which side of autumn you are leaning towards at the time.

(David uses chipotle powder which I didn’t have, but the smoked paprika was totally sufficient. You could use sweet paprika if you prefer).


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

We’re going to roast the corn kernels with the capsicum and chilli, while at the same time boil up the shucked cobs to make a tasty broth for the soup.

So! Slice the corn off the cobs, dice the capsicum and mild chilli to a similar size and pop these on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until there’s a little colour on the corn.

Meanwhile, ‘essence of corn’ broth can be simmering. Cut the cobs in half or however they can fit neatly into a saucepan, and cover with the water. Simmer, covered, while the corn is roasting and becoming extra sweet and rich.

Meanwhile part 2, sauté the onions and garlic in a heavy based pot with the butter. Once they are fairly soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, add the spices and stir for another minute.

Then combine the roasted corn and the corn water into the pot, removing the spent cobs. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes to let it all come together. Add the milk or cream, and taste for salt, adding more if you like. Check it’s warmed through before taking it off the heat. Top with chopped basil or coriander.

I didn’t have any leftovers, but this should taste even better the next day, and keep for another one after that.


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