Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup

Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup | Selma's TableI popped into Borough Market on Saturday, just to buy some gnarly heirloom tomatoes – something both Jake and I really enjoy with basil and buffalo mozzarella. The market is uncomfortably busy on a Saturday so I didn’t linger but just made my way to the periphery where there are some brilliant farm vegetable stalls and also came away with these lovely ears of corn.

Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup | Selma's TableI’ve been craving the East African dish of “Makai Paka” or  “Corn in Coconut” but after a conversation with my mother, realised that I didn’t have a couple of items so decided on making a rustic soup instead. I used a dried chipotle pepper to add a smoky spicy depth to this dish – you could add smoky paprika and some chilli flakes if you don’t have chipotle peppers. After rehydrating it in hot water, I sliced it in half and scraped out the seeds as it was quite hot enough!

Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup | Selma's TableI had seen a method of slicing off corn kernels that I had been itching to try. which involves a Bundt pan and a sharp knife – it worked! The hole in the middle of the pan supports the cob and the pan itself catches most of the kernels and really contains the ‘scatter and splatter’ that inevitably results when slicing off fresh corn kernels.

Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup | Selma's Table

When roasting the kernels, don’t over do them – for this soup, they are nicer when they are still quite creamy and tinged gold rather than hard chewy golden nuggets! And don’t throw the corn cobs away – they are needed to make a corn broth for the soup!

This is a lovely dish to enjoy as a light lunch or supper, making the best of the late summer produce that is around! I am taking this over to share with the lovely bloggers over at The Novice Gardener’s, Fiesta Friday #31  which today, is being hosted by Angie herself. Angie is sharing the most delicious spread of bruschetta and crostini and the featured recipes from last week are absolutely mouth watering! Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup | Selma's Table

Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Fresh Corn Soup by David Lebovitz


  • 4 cobs of corn
  • 2 pointed sweet red peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic in their skins
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 800 ml water
  • 1 medium onion
  • splash of olive oil
  • 150 ml creme fraiche
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper (or 1 tsp smoked paprika and ½ tsp chilli flakes)
  • 1 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds, crushed coarsely
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves or use parsley or chervil instead
  • lemon wedges to serve


  1. Leave the chipotle pepper to soak in a little hot water.
  2. Preheat oven to 190 C/ 375F
  3. Shuck the corn and slice off the kernels. Set the cobs aside. to make a broth. Slice the red peppers in two and de-seed.
  4. On a large baking tray, mix the kernels, the peppers, the garlic, the salt and the olive oil – spread out and roast for 25 mins, stirring a couple of times. The corn should be tinged gold in places but don’t over-roast – the kernels should still be succulent.
  5. While the kernels are  roasting, snap the cobs into pieces and place in a saucepan. Cover with 800 ml of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  6. Sauté the onion in a large saucepan until floppy and slightly golden.
  7. When cool enough to handle, chop the sweet red pepper into small pieces.
  8. Drain the chipotle pepper, cut in half and remove the seeds to reduce the heat. Chop  finely and have a little taste to see how hot it is.
  9. Squeeze the garlic out of their skins and add to the onions in the saucepan, along with the kernels and the chopped red pepper. Stir in the chipotle pepper to your taste – I used the whole one. Or add the smoky paprika and the chilli flakes if not using the chipotle pepper. Add a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon and the crushed cumin seeds
  10. Remove the corn cobs from the water and discard. Tip the corn broth into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Do not boil.
  11. Stir in the creme fraiche and the herbs.

Serve with a lemon wedges which really sharpen the flavour and tone down the heat at the same time.


© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.







91 thoughts on “Smoky, Spicy Roasted Corn Soup

  1. Absolutely delightful flavors Selma. I love corn soups. Will look for the Makai Paka when you make it :). Tha soup is so rustic and bursting with different flavors. What I loved about the first pic is that you brought the colors if the napkin to the soup and vice versa :). Excellent !

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. This sounds amazing and I like the idea of the smokeyness – I would definitely add a few dried chilli flakes for kick and maybe serve with a hunk of irish wheaten bread (if you haven’t tried it, DO! I am thinking of figuring out a lovely recipe soon). Thanks Selma!


    • Hmmm – Irish Wheaten Bread – where do you get that? I am so spoilt with our locally made sourdough from Elephant Bakes that I rarely look at the bread shelves in the shops anymore…Unless you like things super spicy, use either chipotle or chilli flakes and smoked paprika!! x


  4. I love how you cut off the corn kernels! Thanks for sharing. The smokiness makes this dish sound delicious as well. Thanks for bringing it to FF, and have a wonderful weekend. :)


  5. … A nod to the approaching Autumn, Selma – that golden yellow colour and red flecks – and soup – the ultimate comfort food!
    I love the idea of sharpening with lemon – you’re such an inspired cook – thank you for this latest dose of inspiration!
    Emma :-)


    • Thanks Suzanne – that did make me smile! I have finally found my sweet spot for taking photos – I have been struggling a bit but I think I have finally cracked it – well until the days become shorter and constantly overcast…


  6. Oh my Selma, this looks just beautiful, love all the colors and the freshness that this soup presents. Now that summer is in it’s last stages, fresh corn is a must before the cooler weather sets in. This soup has everything I love, the sweetness of the corn and the savory chipotle – will definitely have to bookmark this.


  7. Looks delicious, but that corn cob in the middle of the bundt pan is pure genius! What a tip! Not corn season here, but can occasionally rustle up a couple of cobs. Thank you Selma!


  8. The soup looks delicious! I love the added chipotle. I completely agree with you regarding Borough Market! Still I can’t seem to stay away and I go there whenever I am near and I always find something to buy! :)


  9. What beautiful colours and flavours for a corn soup. I’m thinking this is a great way to use up all the barbecued corn we keep producing. Great tip on removing the kernels too. Thanks for a practical, seasonal and scrumptious recipe.


  10. This is one of my favorite “corn” blogs of all time Selma! We have a bumper crop of corn here in Tennessee…all varieties of sweet delicious corn which would be just perfect for this soup of yours. I am also a fan of chipotle peppers. They do add a wonderful smokey flavor to soups and stews don’t they. But the best is your tip on using the bundt pan to cut the corn kernels off the corn…brilliant, just brilliant! Another use for a common baking pan that we all have around the kitchen. Your photos are lovely and colorful and perfect for late summer.


  11. Beautiful soup. I used to work just opposite Borough Market and reading about it has really made me miss the days when I used to wander around in my lunch hour picking up delicious things to eat.


    • How I envy you having had that on your doorstep! The takeaway food there now is really booming. They have stalls selling a huge variety of different cuisines from Monday through to Saturday. Do you ever go there now?


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