Curried Coconut Corn Soup

July 25, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

After writing about Samin Nosrat's silky sweet corn soup that calls for making a corn cob stock, a commenter mentioned she learned the corn cob stock technique from Deborah Madison and pointed me to this recipe. I made it and loved it.

The original recipe calls for garam masala in addition to the other spices as well as a tablespoon of flour. I left the flour out, because it seemed unnecessary, and I've made a few other adjustments, so reference the original recipe if you are curious. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 4 ears corn, yellow or white varieties, shucked
  • 8 cilantro sprigs plus 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red or white onion, trimmings reserved
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot or mild paprika
  • Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (1 and 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, slice the corn off the cobs. I’ve been doing this in a shallow bowl/plate lined with a tea towel — a tip from Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat. See photos above.
  2. Break the cobs and put them in the heating water with the cilantro branches and any onion trimmings (Note: red onion trimmings turn the stock very dark/murky—I now leave them out). Simmer for at least 15 minutes--longer if you can--then strain.
  3. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. If you’re using whole cumin and coriander seeds, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat till they darken and become fragrant, then grind in a mortar and pestle. Add them to the onions along with the paprika and turmeric, and cook a few minutes more. Add in the coconut milk, the corn, the chopped cilantro, 1 and 1/2 cups stock, and 1 teaspoon salt. If the soup is too thick, thin it with more stock. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of half of the lime. Taste, and add the juice of the other half if desired. Taste, adjusting the salt if needed. I add about another teaspoon of kosher salt (so 2 teaspoons total) but I like salt, so adjust to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • marsiamarsia
  • urbancooknyc
  • Blork
  • Sajini Christman
    Sajini Christman
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

21 Reviews

emanne September 8, 2020
This was really good--I added zucchini and and carrots since I'm up to my ears in zucchini. Will be making again!
Lisa January 4, 2019
It was a rainy cold Christmas Eve. I was making dinner. Last minute, I decided to add a warm soothing soup. Shops already closed. I have to make it from whatever I have in house. A quick search let me to this recipe. Not only I have all ingredients required for this soup (organic frozen corns). In my experience, Alexandra’s recipes never fail. I sautéed cilantro stem with onion for its flavor. Added leaves after I plated. So it is visually appealing. Most of all, it tasted wonderfully delicious and soothing. It was a huge success. Everyone loved it.
marsiamarsia September 12, 2017
Here's a link to Wikipedia's short explanatory article on gomazio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gomashio

Alexandra S. September 12, 2017
Thank you!
urbancooknyc September 10, 2017
I love this recipe! I've made it a couple of times now and it's delicious at room temperature in the summer. I added the chopped cilantro right before serving it, along with some gomazio, yum! Alexandra, you should give it a try.
Alexandra S. September 11, 2017
That sounds so good! What is gomazio? Would love to try it!
yiayia August 18, 2017
The perfect summer recipe! I'm wondering whether it makes sense to stir in the cilantro for the soup as opposed to the stock at the end rather than simmer it because the cilantro turns army green. That said, this is delicious and colorful. I served it with the cucumber salad posted on your blog--such pretty colors together. I doubled the recipe--easy to do and who wouldn't want second helpings?
Alexandra S. September 11, 2017
Great to hear it doubles well.
Blork August 15, 2017
Really delicious. The cob stock recipe makes at least double what you need, so I freeze the rest and then skip the stock-making step next time I have corn on the cob. Also, I use a stick blender to give it a quick whiz before adding the lime juice; not a full purée, but a mix. Maybe 80% of kernels left intact (makes for a slightly thicker and creamier soup).
Alexandra S. September 11, 2017
Nice! Great tips here. Love it.
CHRISTINE M. August 1, 2017
We really enjoyed this recipe! So flavorful and I loved making the stock from the corn cobs. Thank you so much. I made roasted Sock eye salmon with curry, Penzeys Singapore seasoning, and mayo to the salmon along with a quick stir fry of garden greens and tomatoes. Oh, it was such a nice compliment to the delicious soup. This is a real keeper!
CHRISTINE M. August 1, 2017
We really enjoyed this recipe! So flavorful and I loved making the stock from the corn cobs. Thank you so much. I made roasted Sock eye salmon with curry, Penzeys Singapore seasoning, and mayo to the salmon along with a quick stir fry of garden greens and tomatoes. Oh, it was such a nice compliment to the delicious soup. This is a real keeper!
Alexandra S. August 2, 2017
oooh yum! It all sounds so good. Such a lovely summer meal! I've been making sockeye, too — love its color and flavor.
TheraB July 31, 2017
I just made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks
Alexandra S. August 1, 2017
Great to hear this TheraB!
Sajini C. July 29, 2017
i just made this. It was just what i needed on a rainy day. simple and delicious
Alexandra S. July 31, 2017
So happy to hear this, Sajini!
Heidi July 27, 2017
Have you tried this soup chilled?

Also, I have been making your mother's peasant bread weekly for a month! I feel like I need 2 1/8 cups water or the dough is too dry. Has anyone else mentioned this small tweak? It works with 2 cups but doesn't rise as much.
Alexandra S. July 27, 2017
I have not! It has been cold and rainy in update NY, so I haven't been tempted, but I have to confess: I kind of can't really envision eating it cold?! I feel like it would feel like eating canned corn or something. BUT, I would love you to prove me wrong :) OR if you are feeling similarly and you are someplace warm, wait till it cools down a bit.

And yay re bread!! I'm glad you've adjusted the water to make it work for you. And I have no doubt it's necessary. For me in the winter, I'm often cutting back on the flour of all of the breads I bake, so it really varies region to region. Question: Are you using a scale? I would be curious to hear if you need to adjust the water if you are using precisely 512 g flour. Keep me posted!
Heidi August 9, 2017
I had been wanting a digital scale and used this bread as my excuse to purchase one! I have watched your videos and to get the wet, sticky texture you get, I do need the extra 1/8 cup water. No big deal, just thought I'd mention it.

The soup is so delicious, I now make double batches. I haven't eaten a bowl chilled, although I have had a spoonful from the fridge and it's tasty. I think if the corn was puréed it would be refreshing chilled, but I'm not going to bother as it's delicious hot with a slice of peasant bread!

I so enjoy your stories and recipes Alexandra!
Alexandra S. August 9, 2017
Heidi, you are too kind, thank you for your nice words and for following up re bread! I'm so glad you've been able to adjust the recipe with more water to make it work. I find it so interesting hearing how people have to adjust the recipe from season to season and region to region, and how even just 1/8th cup more water will make all the difference in the world in terms of success.

And I think you are right re puréeing the soup for the chilled version — sounds way more appealing. Hope you are well!