When corn is at its summer peak, I like to whip up this Japanese style Corn Potage. It’s a silky smooth soup which is unbelievably creamy. It always tastes like summer in a bowl to me and it couldn’t be easier to make. Delicious hot or chilled, corn potage deserves a place on your summer table. You won’t believe how much deep corn flavor this soup has-the secret is using fresh corn 3 ways!
What Is Corn Potage?
At first glance there’s nothing about this recipe, or its name, that seems particularly Japanese. Potage is actually French, and refers to a vegetable soup that has been rendered extra creamy by pureeing it and straining it through a sieve. Like Hambagu before it though, Corn Potage rode a wave of Western style food adapted in Japan. It is now so beloved that you can even get it from vending machines and there are countless brands of canned corn potage at the market. In my opinion, Corn Potage is the Japanese equivalent of American chicken noodle soup. But while I like convenience as much as the next busy mom, nothing beats homemade.
When we were kids, my mom would takes us to family restaurants or kisetans (cafe) in Japan, and this soup was ubiquitous, literally everywhere. We thought it was so sophisticated and grown up and always ordered it. If you have kids, I guarantee they will love this. It has a comforting simple flavor that screams corn. For me, it’s nostalgic and lovely, and reminds me of summer vacation in Japan.
Making Corn Potage
Since corn is the star here, seek out the best you can find. Local is great if you can find it! Look for bright green, tightly wrapped husks that seem plump and heavy. Stay away from corn that has wet husks at the top which could indicate moldy corn.
But don’t throw those cobs out! We’re going to use them to infuse the stock with the sweet flavor of corn.
After 20 minutes, discard the cobs and set the stock aside to cool.
And now the Corn Potage is done! I like to garnish it with corn kernels. A little swirl of cream is a nice touch too. You can add some chopped parsley for a burst of color, but the corn is the star here. Grab some fresh corn from a farmers’ market this weekend and see why this soup enjoys such enduring popularity in Japan. When you do, don’t forget to take a minute and rate or comment on the recipe below and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you.
- 3 Tbsp butter
- ½ onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoon flour
- 2 cups chicken broth*
- 3 ears corn
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- white pepper
- chopped parsley, extra corn kernels, or heavy cream for garnish
- Shuck the corn, rubbing your hands up and down to remove the silk.
- Put a small ramekin upside down (You can use whatever small dish/cup you have) in a large bowl. Prop the corn up on the ramekin and then cut off the corn kernels with a sharp knife. The kernels will drop into the bowl. Set aside, saving the corn cobs.
- Put the corn cobs in a pot and add the chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Discard the corn cobs and set the chicken broth aside to cool. You should have 1 ¼ cups of broth. Add some water to make up the difference if needed.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and cook for 6-8 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and flour and cook for a minute.
- Add the chicken broth in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat.
- Add the corn kernels, stir and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Pour the soup carefully into a blender cup, take the feed pour cover off, and cover the opening with a clean kitchen towel. Pulse and then puree until very smooth.
- Strain through a sieve (do not use a fine sieve or nothing will get through. You are just trying to filter out some of the corn skin and heavy fibers), and pour back into the rinsed pot.
- Add the milk, salt, and pepper and heat over medium high heat for several minutes until the soup is hot. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If the soup is a little thick add a little a couple extra tablespoons of broth.
- Garnish corn potage with a little chopped parsley, some extra corn kernels, or a splash of heavy cream before serving.
*To make this vegetarian, use a good vegetable stock.
Keywords: summer, corn, soup, japanese