Make Ahead

Jalapeño Corn Soup with Seared Scallops

May  7, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4 to 6 people
Author Notes

I love making big batches of soup on the weekend and saving the leftovers for work lunches all week. For dinner, I'll ladle this corn soup into a shallow bowl and float a few seared scallops on top. Then I'll enjoy the rest of the soup with a hunk of bread for lunch. The briny scallops make a great pairing with the sweet corn and spicy jalapeño. —Kitchen Sink Diaries

Test Kitchen Notes

The sweetness of the corn balanced perfectly against the jalapeños -- I kept "tasting" it as it cooked because it smelled so great and couldn't wait to purée it! The scallops were a great addition, though I also really enjoyed it with some crumbled bacon and microgreens (to feel healthy). One note: I was using end-of-summer gigantic corn from the farmers market so I needed to add some extra broth and cream to thin it out, but it was still delicious! Also, I used a hand blender but would probably recommend a true blender to get a smoother consistency. Great recipe! —Kelly H

What You'll Need
  • Jalapeño Corn Soup
  • 9 ears of corn, kernels removed and 4 cobs reserved
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seared Scallops
  • 12 large sea scallops, preferably fresh and/or dry-packed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Jalapeño Corn Soup
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large heavy pot or dutch oven. Add in the onion and jalapeño and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft but not brown. Add in the garlic and the corn kernels and cook for another minute or until fragrant, making sure that the garlic doesn't burn.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and cream and add the corn cobs. Season with a few large pinches of salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes.
  4. Discard the cobs and blend the soup until smooth. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Ladle the soup into a shallow bowl and top with seared scallops. Soup can also be cooled and refrigerated for a few days or frozen for a couple months.
  1. Seared Scallops
  2. Melt the butter and oil together in a large heavy skillet until very hot, but not smoking.
  3. Rinse the scallops, pat very dry, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until caramelized on the outside and just slightly translucent in the center.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • juliunruly
  • Victoria Kalnitzky
    Victoria Kalnitzky
  • Scott Norton
    Scott Norton
  • Maria
  • Tracie

19 Reviews

juliunruly July 4, 2016
Love this soup. Make it all the time; I only blend 3/4 it so there are some kernels left to munch on.

Can anyone tell me where the bowl in the main photo is from?
ChefMelissa September 3, 2015
This captured the essence of summer! Need to avoid dairy so I made a few substitutions (olive oil instead of butter, soy creamer instead of cream) but it didn't detract - the flavors of corn and jalepeno were bright, bold, flavorful, perfect. As other reviewers suggested, I reserved some to maintain a crunch. The scallops were awesome. Added cilantro on op for garnish. Awesome recipe.
Jaxmccaff January 28, 2022
I'm also dairy free. Now that you've made it, do you think canned coconut milk would work instead of the heavy cream?
Laura December 29, 2014
We made this as an appetizer and garnished it with a slice of bacon... It was wonderful and I will definitely make it again!
Kitchen S. December 29, 2014
Thanks for sharing. Bacon and corn are a perfect match.
David B. September 30, 2014
Great base from which to work! I puréed about two-thirds of the chowder, leaving the stock for the other third. Having just a little crunch with each bite was tasty. I when I plated the dish I just couldn't help think there needed to be a little green on top. Parsley perhaps? Maybe a thin slice of green onion? Dunno, just thought green would have helped the eye appeal. Great recipe!
Kitchen S. December 28, 2014
I often garnish with minced chives or micro greens. A little fresh green on top makes every dish better.
Victoria K. September 23, 2014
I made this last night and I will make it again very, very soon! Super simple and totally delicious! Brought some of the left overs to work and fed hungry co-workers. People kept lining up and the compliments were overwhelming.
The comment about the sweet first taste, followed by a light spicy hit at the end are very accurate. It's perfectly balanced. We added lightly salted tortilla strips to the top and next time we might add in some bacon. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!
Kitchen S. December 28, 2014
Thanks for sharing! Love that you shared the leftovers. I agree that bacon would be a welcome addition.
Scott N. September 20, 2014
Killer recipe! You can also substitute scallops for lobster mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, etc.
Kitchen S. September 23, 2014
Great idea about the mushrooms. That sounds delicious.
Maria September 20, 2014
I stumbled upon this recipe just as we received a heap of sweet corn in our CSA box. The flavours are a perfect interplay of sweet and brine and heat. One tip: you want to blend this soup until you think it's smooth, then blend for another five minutes! The extra effort lends that silken texture you see in the photograph. For a dinner party, I might take the time to push it through a tamis, but it's a nice-to-do, not required. Can't wait to pull a bag of this from the freezer in December to taste summer again!
Kitchen S. September 23, 2014
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Maria! Good tip about blending it for longer than you think.
Tracie September 17, 2014
Would I be able to substitute the heavy cream for coconut milk or some other non-dairy ingredient ?
Kitchen S. September 17, 2014
I haven't tried it but I'm sure you could! It will just give it a bit of a coconut flavor.
tupperbear September 15, 2014
This was a fantastic use of peak of the summer corn. I tweaked a little by keeping a 1/4 of the batch unblended (wanted a little more texture/tooth) and added Sriracha Maple Bacon I cooked on my Traeger as a garnish.
Kitchen S. September 16, 2014
So glad you enjoyed it. That bacon sounds incredible!
foxeslovelemons September 12, 2014
Congrats on the CP! This looks absolutely amazing. I want to reach a spoon right through my screen!
Kitchen S. September 14, 2014
Thank you! It's a favorite of mine and I'm glad I was able to share with everyone!