Weeknight Cooking

Japanese-Style Corn Soup With Sesame-Crusted Croutons

May 11, 2021
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Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Every time I’ve visited my family in Japan, I’m left wondering: Why can’t I eat like this every day? Whether it’s at a small street stand in a local market, a convenience store, or even a vending machine, it seems that everything I try is worth shedding a happy tear over. Most notably, I remember trying a Japanese-style corn soup that I got in a vending machine one cold winter day as we walked down the streets of Shibuya. Besides the typical beverages and snacks, I was surprised to see hot chocolate and warm soup among the selection (this was only 2006).

After pressing a few buttons and navigating the selections with the help of my uncle’s translations, I got to enjoy a warm cup of a delicate yet oh-so-satisfying corn soup that quickly warmed my soul and my body. To recreate this memory at home, I’ve discovered that all I needed were a few pantry ingredients, like canned corn and vegetable stock. Comforting, simple, and ready in no time, this recipe suits the palates of picky eaters and soup-lovers alike. While the soup simmers on the stovetop, make homemade sesame-crusted croutons to garnish your dish (or munch on throughout the day).
Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with LG STUDIO. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 (15-ounce) cans cooked sweet corn, drained and divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sesame-crusted croutons (see below)
  • For the croutons:
  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. For the soup:
  2. In a large pot, combine olive oil and unsalted butter. Melt over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture begins to bubble, add the onions and cook until translucent and slightly caramelized.
  3. Next, add 2 cans of the drained corn, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Once the stock begins to bubble, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Once cool enough to handle, use an immersion blender or a blender to puree the mixture until smooth and creamy.
  7. Strain the mixture into a clean pot to remove the excess pulp. Over low-medium heat, add the milk, heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 can of corn. Simmer until warm and thoroughly combined, stirring frequently. Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste. Garnish with chives and croutons, and serve warm.
  1. For the croutons:
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cubed bread, olive oil, garlic powder, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper until thoroughly mixed. Lightly press the cubes against the bowl’s walls to collect as much of the seasoning mix on the surface as possible.
  4. Spread the cubes on the lined baking sheet in an even, uniform layer. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the cubes every 5 minutes to ensure all the sides evenly cook. The cubes should be golden-brown and crunchy.
  5. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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