Light yet surprisingly velvety, creamy, and luxurious, this chilled vegan soup maximizes the deliciousness of summertime’s starring crop by simmering corn kernels with their cobs. A tangy, finishing swirl of red bell pepper puree adds gorgeous contrasting flavor and color.
Chilled Sweet-Corn Soup with Red Bell Pepper Puree
- 6 ears corn husked
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups ice
- 1 recipe Red Bell Pepper Puree (below)
Cut the kernels off of the cobs. Reserve the kernels and 3 of the cobs.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the reserved kernels and cobs, 4 cups water, the bay leaf, and 1-1/4 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the cobs and bay leaf.
Add the ice and stir until melted. Working in batches, blend the soup, adding water as needed, until completely smooth and creamy with great body but not too thick. To achieve the silkiest texture, use a powerful blender or pass the soup through a fine-mesh sieve after blending. Season to taste with salt. Cover and chill the soup for at least 3 hours.
To serve, ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with spoonfuls of the red pepper puree.
Red Bell Pepper Puree
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the peppers and shallot. Let sizzle for 1 minute, then cover the pan, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.
Carefully blend the pepper mixture until completely smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any pepper skin. Pour into a wide, shallow container and chill, covered, for 2 hours before using.
Photography Chelsea McNamara