The Best of Sweet Summer Corn in a Soup with Lobster

Get the klieg lights, roll out the red carpet ‘cuz corn has arrived in Hollywood and this fan has big plans. That’s right when the first summer corn starts to make its annual appearance I have one motto: ”Eat Corn Now!”

  • Eat corn now– with friends.
  • Eat corn now– alone.
  • Eat corn now– on the cob.
  • Eat corn now– in a salad.
  • Eat corn now– from the grill.

And my favorite: Eat corn now– in a soup!

I am making a Creamy Corn Soup with Poached Lobster & Chive Oil

My version is a conglomeration of many recipes that I have collected over the years. That’s because making good soup is more of a process than a recipe. I did take copious notes as I was making this soup so if you care to try it yourself you can.

I like this soup quite a bit. I think that the sweet corn contrasts nicely with the smokiness of the bacon, it is a very satisfying sweet and savory combination. I drizzled the soup with a bit of chive oil. Nothing says summer to me like chives. The verdancy of its herbaceous flavor adds a very nice, bright element. It’s the perfect foil for the soup’s touch of cream and its luscious butter-poached lobster.


corn on the cobAs I said there were many inspiration sources in this recipe. Too many to list or even remember but I do need to give Kitchen Girl Jo credit on the butter-poached lobster tails. This is her method word for word and its perfect. I make mine exactly as she describes to great success.  I hope she doesn’t mind me passing along her recipe.

There is one unusual aspect to my soup. I can’t say exactly where I first learned about it but I always add the corncobs to my corn soup stock. Be it water based or chicken based the cobs add a certain level of nutty corniness that makes a big difference in the complexity of flavors in my opinion. It also adds some extra starchiness that improves the texture.

On a final note, my version has cream in it. I know cream gives many of you nightmares. But fats bind flavors together in a magical way and I find it indispensable in this soup. If, as Julia Child used to say, you are afraid to use cream just add butter. Now that’s funny!

Creamy Corn Soup with Poached Lobster & Chive Oil serves 6 CLICK here for a printable recipe

  • 8 ears corn
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, preferably sweet such as Maui, vidalia or walla walla, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 6 c chicken stock
  • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 t kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 t white pepper, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 c heavy cream
  • 3 butter poached lobster tails (see recipe here), coarsely chopped
  • 6 T chive oil (see recipe here)

corn off the cobCut all the kernels from the cobs. Discard all but 2 of the cobs. Cut the remaining cobs in half crosswise.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon slices in a single layer and cook until they have rendered their fat, but not yet browned. Add the butter, onions, and shallots to the pot, increasing the temperature to medium-high. Sweat the onions and shallots with the bacon, stirring occasionally until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Using kitchen twine tie the thyme, parsley, and sage sprigs together in a bundle adding them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, and the corn cob pieces. Season generously with salt and white pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture until the potatoes soften about 20 minutes.

Add the cream and the corn kernels, stirring to combine. Simmer about 3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and discard the bacon, herb bundle, and corncobs. Then, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until completely pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pass the soup through a fine-meshed sieve into a sauce pan. It should be velvety, but not too thick. Adjust with a little water or more chicken stock if needed. Gently reheat the soup.

To serve: Divide the soup evenly between 6 soup bowls. Mound some of the butter poached lobster on top and drizzle each one with about 1 tablespoon chive oil. Serve warm.


Greg Henry