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Challenge: Healthy Swaps

Grilled Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Basil

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This healthy take on corn chowder pairs summer corn that has been grilled to maximize sweetness and add a hint of smokiness. Pureeing the corn gives the soup a creamy texture -- minus the cream -- and flavorful, fresh basil adds a bright pop of color.

Grilled Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Basil

  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cooking Time: 1 hr


  • 8 large ears fresh corn
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup (125 mL) whole milk or coconut milk


  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot.
  2. Pull the corn husks down to the stalk's base and remove as much of the silk as possible (which, at times, seems like an impossible task!)
  3. Use a long, 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of husk to tie back the husks (you can also use twine for this, but I like how the husk looks -- much more rustic.)
  4. Fill a large pot with cold, salted water and soak the corn for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the corn from the water and place onto the grill, spacing slightly apart. Grill, turning every few minutes, until some of the kernels are browned and the corn is tender, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the cob to a platter and allow to cool.
  6. Remove the kernels from the corn -- helpful tip!! To remove the kernels from the corn cobs, invert a small bowl inside a very large bowl, so that there is a small dome in the bottom of the large bowl. Stand the corn cob on the center of the dome and use this as a platform for cutting off the kernels with a serrated knife. This makes the process so much easier than if you simply stand the corn in the bottom of a large bowl. Trust me on this one!
  7. Reserve about ½ cup (125 mL) of the kernels for garnish.
  8. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, potato and garlic and saute until the onion and potato have started to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add the white wine and corn and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the chopped basil and cover, allowing the flavors to blend for 20 minutes.
  11. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the milk and return the mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with the reserved corn kernels and fresh basil.

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