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September 9, 2010

How to make corn stock


On the way to making the quinoa soup you requested from Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Ladles, I discovered this corn stock recipe in the same book, and, it still being corn season here in Rhode Island, I couldn't resist. The kernels went into a stir-fry, and the cobs gave their goodness to the water, enriched by saffron, tomato paste and jalapeño peppers. This aromatic, vegetarian/vegan stock would be a great base for chowders, vegetable soups, maybe a pasta soup with turkey meatballs.... well, you get the idea. It's versatile and unusual, a glorious golden color, and you can freeze it for use well beyond corn season.

How to make corn stock

Adapted from Latin Ladles, this recipe makes 6 cups of stock; can be doubled.


2 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 corn cobs (kernels removed), cut into a few pieces
2 leeks, split lengthwise, washed, and roughly chopped
1 small onion, cut in quarters, with the skin on
2 carrots, washed, coarsely chopped
1/2 Tbsp saffron threads
2 quarts water
1-1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 whole jalapeño chile peppers, stems removed
1-1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme


In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the corn cobs, leeks, onion, carrots and saffron. Cook, stirring frequently, to "sweat" the vegetables, until the onions are translucent but not starting to brown. Add the water and remaining ingredients. Increase heat to high and bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming the stock as needed.

Pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard all of the solids, and cool the stock to room temperature. Can be refrigerated for a few days, or frozen for a few months.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Jenny Kelley | September 9, 2010 at 09:44 AM

Oh wow! This looks yummy :) I had no idea that corn stock even existed. Thank you for opening my eyes to this corn-a-licious concoction!

Posted by: T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types | September 9, 2010 at 01:06 PM

I'll bet with the saffron, the stock is a beautiful golden color.

Posted by: pam | September 9, 2010 at 01:45 PM

I've been tossing all my cobs on the compost bin!!

Posted by: Colleen | September 10, 2010 at 08:23 AM

I stumbled upon this recipe a couple weeks ago, didn't bookmark it so I was having trouble finding it again...Thank you for posting this! Wikthout an "official" recipe to follow I made my own version of this last weekend (I was desperrate to try it) and used diced tomatoes with green chilis instead of the jalepenos, threw in a baked potato, which I cut into quarters, and then seasoned with sea salt, pepper, cilantro...made it into a black and white bean (cannellini) was delicious! Now, I can't wait to try the "real thing" - and it is definitely soup weather!!!

Posted by: candy nartonis | September 10, 2010 at 08:31 AM

brilliant! This will be a staple, I am sure. Thanks, Lydia

Posted by: CJ McD | September 10, 2010 at 01:33 PM

I never considered making stock but it's a great idea!

I always cook the cobs in the water that I'm making corn chowder in. They have so much flavor.

Posted by: Lydia | September 11, 2010 at 12:37 AM

Jenny, this was my first time making it, and I was instantly smitten. The color is unbelievable and the aroma... fantastic!

TW, the color is perfect. I'm thinking about a shrimp soup.

Pam, me, too! I think the deer really love them.

Colleen, your soup sounds delicious. If you make it again, try this stock with it. I think it would be really interesting.

Candy, I've got some of this stock in the freezer now. It's divine.

CJ, believe it or not, I've never used the corn cobs in soup before. I can't imagine why not; just the aroma of the stock cooking was worth it!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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