I love to make soups, and this is probably my favorite soup. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. The technique is straightforward and the ingredients are easy to find, so you really have no excuse not to make this. Your friends and family will love you for it! Possibly garnishes for this include chopped crispy bacon, scallions, chile flakes, and more, but for a real New Orleans treat try the Spicy Crawfish Butter recipe that follows. 

Yield: 2 quarts, or about 8 servings

  • One large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • One stick butter
  • 8 cups yellow corn kernels (preferable freshly shucked and cut, but frozen can be substituted)
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional… kinda)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper, to taste 

Method

In a heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook, covered, until very soft. Add the corn kernels and stir to coat with the onions and butter. Add the water just to cover the level of the corn: this is very important because you don’t want watered down soup! (You can always add more water later if it’s too thick.) Simmer for 15 minutes or just until corn is tender. Stir in the heavy cream if you desire… you can leave this out but it adds a velvety texture that you’ll miss without it. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches. Puree very well and pass through a fine mesh strainer (or don’t, if you want a chunkier soup). Season to taste with salt, and I like a lot of fresh ground black pepper.

Spicy Crawfish Butter

If you’re lucky enough to have been at a Crawfish Boil recently, save some of the shells to boil in water and make a spicy crawfish stock. Also, save some leftover cooked meat tail meat… it’s usually better than store bought. 

  • 1 tablespoon crawfish stock, or water
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) favorite bottled pepper sauce (we all have our favorites, don’t we!)
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb. crawfish tail meat
  • Pinch of salt, to taste 

Method:

In a small saucepan, combine the crawfish stock (or water) and the pepper sauce over low heat. When it starts to boil, whisk in the butter to make an emulsion: add a cube of butter and whisk until it is almost dissolved, then add another and repeat until all the butter has been incorporated. This sauce should never get too hot or it will separate and become greasy. When the emulsion is completed stir in the crawfish meat. Taste and season with salt or more pepper sauce as needed. Spoon generously over the corn soup (this is also delicious on simple grits!).

About the Chef 

Eric Joppie is a classically trained professional Chef and sentimental resident of New Orleans, although he currently resides in Sonoma County, California. He has cooked for the past 14 years in America and Britain, and specializes in Market-Based Seasonal Cuisine. Eric is currently featured in Sexy Dishes: A Guide to Who’s Hot in the Kitchen, San Francisco Edition published by TasteTV, available on Amazon.com. He is also proud to be a dear friend of Susan Neely.