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July 6, 2011

Creamy corn and red pepper soup recipe


Chelsea and I had just finished making, taste-testing (oh yes, we taste everything) and photographing this soup, and we'd packed it and set it in the refrigerator when the phone rang. Bob and Charlotte had an appetizer emergency. The appetizer idea they had for a party the same night wasn't panning out, and they didn't want to bring cheese and crackers. Did I have any ideas? I thought this creamy corn and red pepper soup would be just as delicious ice cold as it was when it was hot, so I suggested soup shooters, and within minutes they were here to pick up the soup. I hope their friends enjoyed it as much as Chelsea and I did. The color in the photo is for real, a gorgeous salmon pink that comes from pureeing the red bell pepper. We used frozen organic corn, because it's not quite corn season here in Rhode Island; fresh corn will make this sweet soup even sweeter. Serve hot or cold.

Creamy corn and red pepper soup

Inspired by a recipe in Soup Bible. Serves 4 (or 8, if you're serving shooters).


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped, plus extra for garnish
1-1/4 cups whole corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
3 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought (I used Swanson 99%)
3/4 cup half-and-half (not fat-free)
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Minced chives for garnish (optional)


In a 4- or 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour in the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and purée the soup with an immersion blender. (Or, you can process in batches in a blender or food processor, but be careful; the soup will be very hot.) Return the soup to low heat, and add the half-and-half, plus salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve hot, or chilled, garnished with additional red pepper and chives (optional).

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Debbie Bernstein | July 6, 2011 at 08:42 AM

This is perfectly timed for me! I just got a dozen corn from the farm stand after a bike ride out in Lancaster and I've got leftover red peppers from another recipe. I'm wondering if since I can't use fat free half and half if I could substitute evaporated skimmed milk. Just trying to keep the calories and fat under control here in our house!

Posted by: Lydia | July 6, 2011 at 08:46 AM

Debbie, you could use any type of "milk" product, including skim milk, or you can skip it altogether. The pureed corn releases some milk into the soup, and a dairy-free version would be delicious, though a bit different from this one. My advice: add just a little bit of milk at a time, and stop when you like the consistency; it might take less than you think to give you that great taste.

Posted by: Kalyn | July 7, 2011 at 11:36 AM

How nice of you to donate your soup to the cause. It sounds delicious so it must have been hard to let it go!

Posted by: Lydia | July 7, 2011 at 05:37 PM

Kalyn, Bob is the potter who makes bowls and plates and tagines for me, so I was happy to give them our soup! But now I want to make more, because it was so good.

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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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