amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Sweet corn soup

POSTED ON August 25, 2010

lovely sweet corn

The first thing I did when I returned from my vacation was go straight to the Tompkins Square Park farmers market and buy sweet corn from Norwich Meadow Farms. Of all of the green markets I visit in New York, they are the only growers that sell organic sweet corn. It’s ready a little later than the conventional corn, but it’s well worth the wait. I have plans for velvety soups, salads and relishes but first I have to savor it my favorite way: steamed with umeboshi paste. To some of you this may sound strange but I promise it is a taste sensation.


sweet corn and umeboshi paste

Umeboshi is a pickled Japanese plum, made by fermenting sundried plums in sea salt for a year.  The resulting plums are then either left whole or pureed into a paste. The flavor is extremely salty and sour and compliments the sweetness of corn perfectly.

Umeboshi is a healing condiment that is highly alkalizing and useful in treating any kind of stomach upset; it also strengthens blood and is a great hang over remedy.

Make sure to use umeboshi that is naturally fermented with sea salt (Eden brand is what I use) so that you get all the healing benefits. The plums or paste will keep for years and since it is so strong a little bit goes a long way.

Just rub a little all over freshly steamed sweet corn and enjoy!

spicy sweet corn soup with cherry tomato salsa

I bought a lot of corn and 5 cobs of it ended up sitting in my fridge for over a week. It wasn’t tender enough to be eaten as above, so I made this soup. I usually just make it plain with no spices or herbs, but today I wanted something with a warming kick and added 5 little bird’s eye chilies. It ended up super hot, sweet and delicious.  Feel free to cut back on the chili if you want less heat. After I tasted it I made a quick, simple salsa to compliment the spiciness and love how colorful it looks.


in the pot

multi colored cherry tomatoes

Sweet corn soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 5 birds eye chilies, sliced (I would use 3 next time)

3 bay leaves

Sea salt

5 ears sweet corn, shucked, reserving cobs

4 cups filtered water

Warm olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in garlic, chili, bay leaves and salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add corn, cut reserved cobs in half and add. Pour in water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove cobs and bay leaves before placing in the blender. Blend on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until mixture is smooth and velvety, adding more water to get desired consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Serves 4

Cherry tomato salsa

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 teaspoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Squeeze of lime juice

Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a bowl, stir and taste for seasoning.
Spoon onto soup.

Serves 4 as a garnish

POSTED IN Gluten free, Soup

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  • Jacqui says:

    Wow! I doubt it can get more beautiful than that. Absolutely gorgeous and delicious to boot. thanks for continuing to inspire me.

  • Mr Weiss says:

    Wow never would have thought of the plum paste w/ the corn. We’ll have to try it. I wonder if could be adapted into a umeboshi-based glaze for roasting the corn on the grill?

  • thecatskillkiwi says:

    I am definitely going to make this soup with some corn i have sitting around.

  • Sarah says:

    I have picked up umeboshi paste from the grocery store shelf a few times, and put it back every time as one of those don’t NEED it, but I’ll get it sometime things. It’s official, I need it now.

  • rachel says:

    Sounds just delicious. I have never used Umeboshi paste but my friend is devoted so maybe we can make this together. Handsome cooking corn! Oh and I like the idea of the salsa in the soup – noted.

  • Vidya says:

    WOW! Eyes agog. I’ve never tried umeboshi paste either but I totally will now. Sounds amazing… yum. Thanks for the gorgeous pics too. I am relieved it’s almost lunchtime…

  • Ashley says:

    Corn soup and fresh salsa – sounds like the perfect meal to me!! I’ve never bought umeboshi paste or vinegar. I really should try it.

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