Fresh Corn Soup

This simple corn soup is a delicious way to enjoy summer-fresh corn. The magic is in simmering the corn cobs in the soup so every last bit of flavor is extracted. Garnish with bacon and chives for a bowl that’s almost too pretty to eat.

overhead photo of a bowl of corn soup with a spoon

This might be controversial, but I’m not really a fan of corn on the cob as a side dish. Well, I should say I love summer-fresh corn but I’m one of those “cut-the-kernels-off-please” people because it’s just easier to eat that way and there’s no corn-in-the-teeth issue to deal with.

But, to counter all of that negativity, I am a fan of this corn soup made with corn straight off the cob and a handful of other ingredients that combine to make the freshest, summery soup ever. Pretty to look at and easy to eat, not to mention delicious – this is how I like to do corn in the summer.

I first shared it back in 2014 after I discovered a recipe from the brilliant Dorie Greenspan, but since then I’ve simplified it a bit (the method and the ingredients) and now make it the way I’m sharing today.

Use the Kernels and the Cobs

What I love about this soup is how it’s made – you use both the kernels and the cobs so the soup is infused with fresh corn flavor.

photo collage of corn on cob and the kernels in a bowl

Once you’ve cut the kernels from the cobs, saute them with onions and garlic. From there you add some whole milk and water and then you plop the cobs right into the pot to simmer with everything else. It’s like adding a flavor booster.

photo collage showing the steps for making the soup

Of course, you don’t eat the cobs – you toss them once you’ve extracted their flavor before you puree the soup. It’s such a great way to take advantage of the whole vegetable and one of the thousands of reasons Dorie Greenspan is a genius.

It only needs 30 minutes to simmer and, once it’s pureed, just begs for a beautiful garnish. I love a dressed-up bowl of soup.


For the garnish, fry up some bacon and chop it up. Use the bacon fat to cook some of the corn kernels. I cook them until they’re crisp tender.

Slice some fresh chives and then pile all three on top of each bowl of soup. Fancy right? The combination pairs perfectly with the sweet corn soup.

Questions and Such

Can I use 2% or skim milk?

I have only tested this recipe with whole milk, but I think 2% would work fine although the soup won’t be as rich. I wouldn’t use skim milk because you need some fat for flavor. For a really decadent experience add a splash or two of heavy cream.

Can I use frozen corn?

Yes, and I would use frozen corn on the cob. Thaw it first and then cut the kernels off. You could use frozen corn kernels and skip the cob part, but part of the magic in this soup is extracting all of the flavor from the cobs.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

I haven’t tried it but I think you can easily convert this recipe to work in the slow cooker. I would reduce the water by 1/2 cup if you do and cook the soup for three to four hours on low. If you try it please let me know how it turned out!

How long will it keep?

Once made, it should keep well for two to three days in the refrigerator.

So, get thyself to the store and grab some of that summer fresh corn before it’s too late! You are going to want to try this corn soup and if you wait you might miss out. Summer won’t last forever, friend.

Happy soup-making!

overhead photo of a bowl of soup with garnishes

More Summer Recipes


Summer Corn Soup

photo of the final dish

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5 from 1 review

This simple corn soup is a delicious way to enjoy summer-fresh corn. The magic is in simmering the corn cobs in the soup so every last bit of flavor is extracted. Garnish with bacon and chives for a bowl that’s almost too pretty to eat.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: approximately 4 cups of soup 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American



4 large ears of corn, husks and silks removed

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons sliced chives


  1. Slice the end off the end of each ear of corn so that they can stand on one end. Place one ear standing on end in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Slice the kernels off the corn cob by running a sharp knife down the length of the ear. Repeat with the other pieces of corn and keep the corn cobs handy.
  2. Remove 1 cup of the kernels and set it aside. You will cook them later and use them to garnish the soup.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them for a few minutes or until they start to soften. Add the corn kernels (except for the 1 cup you reserved) and garlic and cook them with the onions for a few minutes.
  4. Add the thyme sprigs (you don’t need to pull the leaves off), milk, water, and salt. Stir and then place the corn cobs in the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and, once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks, prep the garnishes. Cook the bacon in a skillet until it’s crispy. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Once cooled, finely chop it. 
  6. In the same skillet, cook the reserved corn kernels in the bacon fat for about five minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Take the skillet off the heat and set it aside.
  7. Once the soup has simmered, remove the cobs and the thyme sprigs and discard them. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in a regular blender. If you use a regular blender, be sure to cool the soup before blending it and then you can rewarm it in the same pan.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls. Pile the cooked corn kernels in the center and sprinkle the chopped bacon and sliced chives over the top.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 417
  • Sugar: 19.7g
  • Sodium: 581.5mg
  • Fat: 24.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.3g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 14.6g
  • Cholesterol: 52mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

Post, photos, and recipe updated from the archives. First published in July 2014.

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