Sweet corn bisque is creamy and cozy topped with crispy little bits of salty bacon ~ it gets an extra flavor boost from an easy corn cob broth!
First things first ~ this corn bisque is out of this world. It’s the perfect soup for summer through fall, or whenever you are lucky enough to get sweet corn on the cob. Throw it together in 30 minutes ~ it makes a great starter for a larger meal, or a meal in itself with salad and bread. It’s the way we plan to take advantage of all the wonderful corn that comes our way in early fall. Pumpkin latte season? Maybe, but right now it’s all about the soup!
you’re gonna need
- sweet corn on the cob
- corn on the cob is important for this soup! You’re going to use the kernels and the cobs for a super ‘corny‘ soup.
- cook it til crisp on a lined sheet pan in a 375F oven, that’s the easiest way. And reserve some of that grease!
- you can also use bacon grease, or both.
- sweet onion
- use Vidalia if you can get them, otherwise a generic sweet or yellow onion.
- just a splash of a good dry sherry adds a background note that makes the soup restaurant quality.
- chicken or vegetable stock
- I add just a little bit of cream for richness and body; you can easily leave it out.
- bay leaf
- maybe it’s superstitious but I always add bay leaf to my soups.
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
how to make sweet corn bisque
- Cook bacon until crisp and reserve some of the grease, if desired.
- Meanwhile remove the kernels from the cobs and reserve the cobs.
- Place the cobs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.
- Discard the cobs and strain the liquid. You’ve got corn cob broth and it’s delicious!
- Sauté onions and shallots in butter, bacon grease, or both, in a Dutch oven or soup pot.
- Stir in flour and cook for a minute, then stir in the sherry.
- Add corn cob broth + chicken or vegetable stock to make 1 quart, and corn kernels to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly then puree the soup in a blender. (Use caution when blending hot liquids.) If you don’t have a food processor or blender you can use an immersion/stick blender.
- Return to pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cream and bring back to a simmer.
- Serve hot with extra corn kernels, crumbled bacon, and snipped chives.
what’s corn cob broth?
It’s a deliciously easy broth made by boiling stripped corn cobs in water to extract a wonderful corn flavor. It adds a next level corn flavor to this corn bisque and other corn soups like Jalapeño Corn Chowder and Salmon and Corn Chowder. You’d never guess that pale yellow broth has such unique ‘corny’ flavor. It’s SO good..
bisque vs chowder?
BISQUE: The key characteristic of bisque is its velvety texture, achieved by pureeing the ingredients and incorporating cream or a dairy product like half-and-half. Bisques originated in France.
CHOWDER: Chowder, on the other hand, is known for its chunky texture, so not blended. Although it can contain milk or cream. Chowder has roots in North America.
now that you’ve got your corn bisque…
You’re definitely going to need some crusty bread of some sort to go with. I suggest Buttery Garlic Knots, or maybe even Southern Corn Sticks or Masa Harina Biscuits. But Dutch Oven Bread or Focaccia Bread would be nice too. Otherwise grab a baguette at the store, I love the ones that are par-baked.
Feeling like you want to balance out the carbs? I get it, how about a salad?
corn bisque tips and faqs
Can this soup be frozen?
- You bet! Let it cool first, and then freeze in the container of your choice, leaving headspace at the top to allow for expansion. It will stay great for 3-4 months.
Can I leave out the bacon?
- Absolutely. You’ll use a bit of that wonderful smokey flavor, but the soup has plenty to offer besides bacon.
Can I use frozen corn?
- I don’t like to be a downer, but frozen corn won’t give you the same result. For one thing, there are no cobs to simmer into that gorgeous corny broth. And frozen corn won’t give you that fresh flavor (obvious!) So while you could use frozen corn, I recommend this as a seasonal recipe for summer/fall when you can get good fresh corn.
This corn bisque is special diet friendly:
- for vegan use vegan butter or olive oil in place of butter, and cashew cream in place of dairy cream. Omit bacon.
- for gluten free leave out the flour.
- for dairy free use bacon grease for the butter, and leave out the cream or use cashew cream.
- For vegetarian omit chicken broth and use more corn cob broth or veggie broth. Omit the bacon.
- Add chopped shrimp, crabmeat, or lobster to the soup.
- Saute minced jalapeños with the onion and shallot.
- Roast the corn kernels in the oven for extra depth of flavor.
- Add smoked paprika or chipotle powder in step 2.
- Add shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Gouda cheese for a cheesy flavor.
Sweet Corn Bisque
- Dutch oven or soup pot
- blender, food processor, or immersion blender
- 4 cups corn kernels, plus reserved cobs (about 4-5 ears of corn)
- 6-8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve grease if you like and use it in place of some of the butter)
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion (about 1/2 onion)
- 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp dry sherry
- 2 cups chicken broth
- bay leaf
- ¼ cup cream or half and half
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- corn kernels
- crumbled bacon
- snipped chives
- Cover corn cobs with cold water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and set the broth aside. Discard the cobs.
- Melt the butter (or bacon grease) in a Dutch oven or soup pot and saute the onion and shallot for about 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pan and continue to saute for another minute. Do not let the flour brown. Add the sherry and keep stirring as the moisture evaporates.
- Add 2 cups of the corn cob broth and the chicken broth to the pan, stirring as you add the liquids. Add the bay leaf and corn kernels and bring up to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the corn is just tender.
- Remove and discard the bayleaf. Let the soup cool for a bit and then puree in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender.) I don't puree the soup completely smooth, I like to leave some texture, but that's your choice. Note: use caution when pureeing hot liquids: be sure the top is on your blender, and make sure it is vented.
- Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste, bring back to a simmer, and serve topped with crumbled bacon, corn kernels, and snipped chives.