Sunday, July 3, 2016

Miso Corn Soup: Simple, Sweet, and Full of Umami for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I saw this soup in an email from Bon Appetit and was drawn by the simple miso-corn pairing as well as the bright, almost garish color in the picture. I was not going for such a vivid color since the sweet local corn I get this time of year from Ewa or Kahuku is a paler yellow and white mix of kernels. Its sweetness makes it a wonderful blend with the umami of the miso and the fire of the chili oil, and I think it is still quite striking to look at in the bowl.  

I kept the ingredients pretty much the same (other than using non-dairy butter to make a vegan version) but changed the preparation method so as not to cook nutrients out of the miso and to leave some corn whole for texture. My changes are noted in red below.

Bon Apetit says, "White miso is the mildest and sweetest type, which is why it is called for in this quantity. Any less and you might not detect it at all."

Miso Corn Soup
Recipe by Gan Shan Station, Asheville, NC--via Bon Appetit 
(Serves 4--or more as a starter)

8 ears of corn (I used 12 small ears Ewa corn)
3 Tbsp butter (I used 2 Tbsp Earth Balance Spread)
1 large onion, chopped
5 Tbsp  white miso
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
chili oil (for serving)

Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Place cobs in a medium pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until stock is infused with corn flavor, 40–45 minutes.
 (I did this the night before.) 

Heat butter in another medium pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add miso and 1/2 cup corn stock and stir to dissolve miso. Add corn kernels and another 1/2 cup corn stock and cook until corn is bright yellow and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and blend, streaming in 2 cups corn stock to thin, until smooth. Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve back into pot; season with salt and pepper. Heat over medium-low until warmed through. 
(Note: In order to not "cook" my miso, I added the miso to 1 cup of my warm corn stock and stirred to dissolve miso, setting aside. I took out 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels  and set aside, then put the remaining corn kernels and 1 cup stock into the pot and cooked for 2 minutes. I then transferred that mixture to my blender, streaming in the miso/corn stock broth in to thin, until smooth, adding about 1/2 cup more of my remaining corn stock. I did not feel the need to strain my soup and stirred 1 cup of my reserved corn kernels into the soup--saving the final 1/2 cup for garnish.

Divide soup among bowls; top with (reserved corn kernels, if desired) chives and drizzle with chili oil.

Notes/Results: A simple and lovely little soup that does a great job balancing sweet, savory and heat. It is rich and creamy but not overpowering. The miso is present but it does not overwhelm (I agree with the recipe author--any less white miso and it would be hard to notice). it just serves to give the soup umami and to prevent it from being too sweet from the corn. I imagine that the corn you use will make an impact as well--get it as fresh and sweet as possible so that you get all of the intended flavor. This is a nice starter soup for a summer meal. I would happily make it again.

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week. 

(If you are not familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.)

Here's a roundup of what was shared this past week:

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared this quick Black Bean Summer Salad saying, "Looking for a quick but satisfying summer salad that can serve as lunch or a light dinner? My black bean salad is one of our favorites. It's light but filling and packs lots of fiber, nutrients, and taste. The best part is that it can be ready in under 10 minutes."

Vicki of I'd Rather Be At The Beach tried a classic Monte Cristo Sandwich and says, "This was so good! The bread was nice and crispy and the flavors of the turkey, ham and melted cheese was amazing. I normally don’t use so much meat, but sometimes you just want a sandwich that’s thick and meaty. Today was one of those days. I only ate half of the sandwich because it was so filling. I’ll eat the other half tomorrow for lunch."

Flour.ish.en Test Kitchen made Green Papaya Salad with Mint and Chile and said, "Curtis Stone's green papaya salad balances the fresh fruity flavor with the heat from the red chili, making it a very refreshing salad for the summer. The flavor and texture of green papaya is sweeter, softer, milder than that of cabbage."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Orzo Pea and Parmesan Salad and said, "It's definitely the season for lighter fare. Salads, seafood, fruit....that lot. Here is an orzo salad I can recommend that is great hot or cold. Orzo is one of my favorite pastas. It cooks up with texture similar to rice. This makes an excellent meal on it's own or a good side. If you'd like protein you can add tofu, shredded chicken or peeled shrimp at the end of the cook time."

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week!

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.
On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy July 4th and week!


  1. I very much like a good corn chowder or a soup with corn featured prominently. If it's not too hot, as in spicy hit, I would love this. You can always get a great photo and the corn is clearly visible in your photos, My soups don't shoe all the veggies so well, they sink. A bit 😊

    Great roundup, I'm off to visit

  2. With all the fresh ingredients available this time of year, I don't know why I don't make any soups. There is that heat factor, however. This soup flavor sounds amazing, Deb. BTW, linked up two salads. Have a happy Fourth!

  3. Here is my link - a step toward losing some weight. Turkey Cobb salad was not the most calorie conscious choice but it is indeed, a salad!

  4. Thanks Deb, I linked up my pork and potato stew. That corn soup sounds just scrumptious. I usually save my cobs in the freezer scraps bag for stock. Such good flavor there.

  5. It's corn on the cob season at all the farms here in Philadelphia area. 8 ears for the soup? no problem. What a rich looking delicious summer soup! Thanks Deb

  6. Delicious soup! I cannot even remember when was the last time I had corn soup!


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