Chilled Corn and Golden Beet Soup

Chilled Corn and Golden Beet Soup with Shiso Oil

I am not a fan of gazpacho. The mere mention of the word makes me cringe, conjuring up images of canned tomato juice, which I hold in equal disdain. Like “Jon” & “Kate” or “toilet” & “food”, “cold” and “soup” are two words that just don’t belong together. And so, I’ve lived for the past thirty two years, happily avoiding these chilled summertime soups.

Every now and then, I get a quirky urge to push my boundaries and see if my tastes have changed, but the incongruity of what essentially amounts to a savoury smoothie, always keeps me from proceeding past the first few sips. A couple weeks ago, I had one of those moments when I felt particularly adventurous and decided to wander outside my comfort zone while trying out a restaurant.

Green Shiso infused Oil

Rouge Tomate sports a fiercely trendy decor and a menu that reads like a collaboration between a hippie and a nutritionist. None of these observations boded particularly well for the food, but the restaurant came well recommended, and given the discounted Restaurant Week menu, I figured I didn’t have much to lose. I started off the meal with a cold corn and fava bean soup, which after one reluctant spoonful, forever changed my opinion of cold soups. Refreshing, nuanced and perfectly balanced, it tasted of sunshine, and corn so fresh that it made me wonder if they had a field of corn tucked away in the labyrinthine depths of the kitchen. Any meal that puts a smile on my face is a good one, any meal that changes the way I think about food is one I’ll never forget.

What’s a dish or ingredient that you used to hate that you now love?

So today as I meandered through the stalls at the Union Square Greenmarket in the heat of August, a pile of corn so fresh it looked like it was still growing, and a bunch of four golden beets with greens still attached whispered an idea into my ear… Chilled Corn Soup with Roasted Beets and Green Shiso Infused Oil…

And so it happened, I went from being a cold soup hater to someone who fantasizes about chilled cucumber consommé with creme fraiche and ikura or a cold bouillabaisse with raw shellfish and an albacore ceviche. Oh… the possibilities!

This particular chilled soup turned out to be delicious. It’s creamy without being heavy, light while still filling, and the way the low temperature highlights the freshness and flavour of the ingredients is sublime. Each sip is full of umami from the glutamate rich corn, pleasantly sweet from the beets, and the shiso infused oil adds a crisp green edge that gives it an almost mint-like cleanness. Make a meal of it with a piece of bread, or serve it as a palette reviving amuse bouche in a shot glass.

Cold Corn and Golden Beet Soup

2 medium golden beets
2 ears of corn
1 Tsp minced shallot
1 C soy milk
1 C low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 green shiso leaves (or other herbs such as thyme, mint, or cilantro)
salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp kosher salt)

4 green shiso leaves minced
2 Tbs olive oil

Wash the beets thoroughly, trimming any stems or roots off the top and bottom. Wrap tightly in foil and put on a baking sheet in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F and roast for about 1 hour, or until the beets are tender. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Use a sharp paring knife to peel away the beet skin then cut them into small pieces.

Use a sharp knife or corn stripper to remove the kernels from the corn. Use the back side of a knife to scrape off every bit of corn and milk from the cob. Put the corn and pulp into a small saucepan and add the shallot, soy milk and stock. Cook for about 20 minutes at a bare simmer. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Add the cooled beets and corn to a blender then add the shiso leaves. Be careful not to overload your blender or the top may fly off. If you’re worried, just blend the soup in 2 batches. Blend on high for about 5 minutes or until the soup is smooth and frothy. Taste it and add salt as needed. Pour the soup through a sieve into a container with a lid and refrigerate until cold (preferably overnight).

To make the shiso oil, just put the minced shiso in a mortar with the oil and pulverize with the pestle. Strain the oil through a fine mesh tea strainer then set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into the bowls, whisk the oil to recombine and put a few large drops in the middle of the soup.

  • http://www.eatshowandtell.com/ Howard

    I can imagine this tasting quite refreshing in the heat you are in, still Summer time ? That second shot looks amazing, so pure.

  • http://www.eatshowandtell.com Howard

    I can imagine this tasting quite refreshing in the heat you are in, still Summer time ? That second shot looks amazing, so pure.

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    I admit to “having issues” with cold soups in the past, and only recently discovered their cooling benefits in the summer. The corn and beet seem to marry well Marc…a great combination.

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    I admit to “having issues” with cold soups in the past, and only recently discovered their cooling benefits in the summer. The corn and beet seem to marry well Marc…a great combination.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    i dont know if i could do cold soups. they just don’t seem to fit right together. i think i’d feel i was drinking a savoury smoothie. BUT, this looks so good I might just have to make it, suck it up and have a taste! :)

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    i dont know if i could do cold soups. they just don’t seem to fit right together. i think i’d feel i was drinking a savoury smoothie. BUT, this looks so good I might just have to make it, suck it up and have a taste! :)

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com/ Julia @ Mélanger

    I have never had a cold soup before. Not something that has been top of my list. But it is funny how you can go into something expecting you won’t like it, and then you do. That’s happened to me a few times. I never really liked vegetables too much in the past – as most kids don’t. But now, I get really urges for things like Dutch carrots or Brussels sprouts. Strange really……

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com Julia @ Mélanger

    I have never had a cold soup before. Not something that has been top of my list. But it is funny how you can go into something expecting you won’t like it, and then you do. That’s happened to me a few times. I never really liked vegetables too much in the past – as most kids don’t. But now, I get really urges for things like Dutch carrots or Brussels sprouts. Strange really……

  • http://kristinmacbride.com/ Kristin

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has trouble with gazpacho. Sometimes I get an extreme craving for it in the summer and it’s all I can think about, but after making a big batch and having a bowl, that’s it. I don’t want anymore.

    I love beets and corn together. I have a feeling this is going to be in the back of my mind until I give it a try.

  • http://kristinmacbride.com/ Kristin

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has trouble with gazpacho. Sometimes I get an extreme craving for it in the summer and it’s all I can think about, but after making a big batch and having a bowl, that’s it. I don’t want anymore.

    I love beets and corn together. I have a feeling this is going to be in the back of my mind until I give it a try.

  • http://www.sevenspoons.net/ tara

    Save for the shiso, everything for this is in my home just now. I guess that means I must make it – the fates tell me so.

  • http://www.sevenspoons.net tara

    Save for the shiso, everything for this is in my home just now. I guess that means I must make it – the fates tell me so.

  • http://www.thedairyshow.com/ Michael

    I am not much of a fan of gazpacho either, to me eating it is like eating a bowl of salsa with a spoon.

    I have had some other great cool soups though, that I really liked. I had a really nice chilled pea soup at Bouchon a few years ago and then a great chilled khorabi soup at the Stone Barns cafe the other day.

    An ingredient that I used to hate would be cilantro. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Graham Kerr’s show about healthy cooking and he used to use a lot of cilantro. So, I would try it, but really couldn’t stand it. I’m not going to say I love it now, but I certainly like it a lot.

  • http://www.thedairyshow.com Michael

    I am not much of a fan of gazpacho either, to me eating it is like eating a bowl of salsa with a spoon.

    I have had some other great cool soups though, that I really liked. I had a really nice chilled pea soup at Bouchon a few years ago and then a great chilled khorabi soup at the Stone Barns cafe the other day.

    An ingredient that I used to hate would be cilantro. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Graham Kerr’s show about healthy cooking and he used to use a lot of cilantro. So, I would try it, but really couldn’t stand it. I’m not going to say I love it now, but I certainly like it a lot.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    The combination of corn and golden beets sounds amazing! My husband dislikes cold soups but perhaps this delicious one will convert him. I will give it a try :)

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    The combination of corn and golden beets sounds amazing! My husband dislikes cold soups but perhaps this delicious one will convert him. I will give it a try :)

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com/ Stacey Snacks

    I was going to try Suzanne Goin’s yellow gazpacho, but you made me think again about a cold soup. I never liked them either, it’s really not “soup”.

    I think I will make a Jon and Kate Soup, and we can use toilet water as the base!

    I miss you this summer!
    Mrs. Fazool

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com Stacey Snacks

    I was going to try Suzanne Goin’s yellow gazpacho, but you made me think again about a cold soup. I never liked them either, it’s really not “soup”.

    I think I will make a Jon and Kate Soup, and we can use toilet water as the base!

    I miss you this summer!
    Mrs. Fazool

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    I adore the colour contrast Marc! I’ve never combined beetroot and corn in a soup – I can hardly imagine the taste – although I know it would be good :)

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    I adore the colour contrast Marc! I’ve never combined beetroot and corn in a soup – I can hardly imagine the taste – although I know it would be good :)

  • http://www.foodhuntersguide.com/ The Food Hunter

    This looks great. I think I might try it for an upcoming dinner I’m hosting. thanks

  • http://www.foodhuntersguide.com The Food Hunter

    This looks great. I think I might try it for an upcoming dinner I’m hosting. thanks

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    I’m a recent convert to cold soups myself. This one sounds fantastic, and the flavors would be great chilled!

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    I’m a recent convert to cold soups myself. This one sounds fantastic, and the flavors would be great chilled!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ pigpigscorner

    i guess you just have to find the right combination of flavours that suits ur taste. Not a big fan of cold soups, but I really enjoyed the chilled cucumber-mint soup I had in Prague!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    i guess you just have to find the right combination of flavours that suits ur taste. Not a big fan of cold soups, but I really enjoyed the chilled cucumber-mint soup I had in Prague!

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com/ Ginny

    Looks good! I love gazpacho though… cold soups make me happy!

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    Looks good! I love gazpacho though… cold soups make me happy!

  • http://www.eatlivesweat.com/ Vicky

    Your soup looks amazing. Corn is in season, I am gonna try to make it!

    Thanks

  • http://www.eatlivesweat.com Vicky

    Your soup looks amazing. Corn is in season, I am gonna try to make it!

    Thanks

  • http://www.phamfatale.com/ Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    You’re funny with your analogy with Jon & Kate lol Nonetheless, the chilled soup loos amazingly delicious

  • http://www.phamfatale.com/ Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    You’re funny with your analogy with Jon & Kate lol Nonetheless, the chilled soup loos amazingly delicious

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    You didn’t like gazpacho before? Holy moly! Who would have thunk, especially when you live in NY where it gets so hot and humid that a cool, refreshing soup like that would really hit the spot. Glad you’re having a change of heart. ;)

    The food I had a change of heart about? Oysters. I used to hate them, no matter if they were raw, fried, bbq-d, what have you. I just didn’t like the texture. That is, until I hit my late 20s. Somehow, my taste for them changed. Now, I can’t get enough of them. Yum!

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    You didn’t like gazpacho before? Holy moly! Who would have thunk, especially when you live in NY where it gets so hot and humid that a cool, refreshing soup like that would really hit the spot. Glad you’re having a change of heart. ;)

    The food I had a change of heart about? Oysters. I used to hate them, no matter if they were raw, fried, bbq-d, what have you. I just didn’t like the texture. That is, until I hit my late 20s. Somehow, my taste for them changed. Now, I can’t get enough of them. Yum!

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    I have never seen that combo before. That surely looks really good.

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    I have never seen that combo before. That surely looks really good.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Yeah, as a Filipino we’re pretty suspicious of cold food :) But I would gladly accept a bowlful of this! I love the sound of that cucumber consomme and ikura!
    I don’t think I was a super-fastidious child, so I’m finding it difficult to think of food I used to hate… olives maybe?

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Yeah, as a Filipino we’re pretty suspicious of cold food :) But I would gladly accept a bowlful of this! I love the sound of that cucumber consomme and ikura!
    I don’t think I was a super-fastidious child, so I’m finding it difficult to think of food I used to hate… olives maybe?

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com/ Eralda

    Sounds delicious. I am usually suspicious of cold soups except for a cucumber yoghurt one my dad makes, but this looks so delectable. I love fresh corn.

  • http://thesplitpea.blogspot.com Eralda

    Sounds delicious. I am usually suspicious of cold soups except for a cucumber yoghurt one my dad makes, but this looks so delectable. I love fresh corn.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek @kitchensidecar

    i am still a cold soup hater. except for salmorejo (a thicker version of gazpacho) because it is an excuse to eat Spanish ham and good olive oil.

    I refuse to convert. sorry.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek @kitchensidecar

    i am still a cold soup hater. except for salmorejo (a thicker version of gazpacho) because it is an excuse to eat Spanish ham and good olive oil.

    I refuse to convert. sorry.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Ooh, golden beets. Have never seen them – are they milder/sweeter than the regular kind? Also, am intrigued that you used soymilk in the soup – might have to try that myself! I wonder how it would go in a hot soup though…finally love that you spelled it “golden beat” soup, hee :D

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Ooh, golden beets. Have never seen them – are they milder/sweeter than the regular kind? Also, am intrigued that you used soymilk in the soup – might have to try that myself! I wonder how it would go in a hot soup though…finally love that you spelled it “golden beat” soup, hee :D

  • http://colloquialcookin.com/ Colloquial Cook

    Shiso oil love hearts?? Man, this soup was made for me. You incidentally remind me that I left Magicland leaving a golden beet in the veggie drawer of the fridge. I guess it’s still there. RIP little golden beet.

  • http://colloquialcookin.com Colloquial Cook

    Shiso oil love hearts?? Man, this soup was made for me. You incidentally remind me that I left Magicland leaving a golden beet in the veggie drawer of the fridge. I guess it’s still there. RIP little golden beet.

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com/ Christina@DeglazeMe

    I am glad you changed your mind about cold soups! I used to dislike olives, but I have grown to love their unique salty flavor.

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com Christina@DeglazeMe

    I am glad you changed your mind about cold soups! I used to dislike olives, but I have grown to love their unique salty flavor.

  • http://www.cookincanuck.com/ Cookin’ Canuck

    Marc, this soup looks creamy and delicious. What a great way to take advantage of all of the summer corn.

  • http://www.cookincanuck.com Cookin’ Canuck

    Marc, this soup looks creamy and delicious. What a great way to take advantage of all of the summer corn.

  • http://www.sporkorfoon.com/ Teanna

    I HATE cold soup. Hate it with a passion. I have only liked chilled soup once, when I had a corn soup at Market Table. But you have me intruiged. I think I’ll try this.

  • http://www.sporkorfoon.com Teanna

    I HATE cold soup. Hate it with a passion. I have only liked chilled soup once, when I had a corn soup at Market Table. But you have me intruiged. I think I’ll try this.

  • http://memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com/ Marysol

    I love cold soups. And this sounds like a delicious recipe; I could enjoy it while feeling virtuous by its healthy ingredients. Thank you!

  • http://memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com Marysol

    I love cold soups. And this sounds like a delicious recipe; I could enjoy it while feeling virtuous by its healthy ingredients. Thank you!

  • http://www.edibleusable.com/ Kim (Edible/Usable)

    Would you consider calling this Borscht because of the beets? I’m not a huge fan of gazpacho either – mainly because most people make it with green peppers which I really dislike. But I love cold red borscht – either the creamy kind or the clear vinegary kind with a hard boiled egg floating in it.

    And I love shiso with beets. I make pickled beets with umeboshi vinegar which has shiso in it http://www.edibleusable.com/2009/08/pickled-beets.html. Where in NYC can you get fresh shiso?

    The food that I didn’t used to like that I now crave occasionally is also oysters. I think they are an acquired taste if you didn’t grow up eating them.

  • http://www.edibleusable.com Kim (Edible/Usable)

    Would you consider calling this Borscht because of the beets? I’m not a huge fan of gazpacho either – mainly because most people make it with green peppers which I really dislike. But I love cold red borscht – either the creamy kind or the clear vinegary kind with a hard boiled egg floating in it.

    And I love shiso with beets. I make pickled beets with umeboshi vinegar which has shiso in it http://www.edibleusable.com/2009/08/pickled-beets.html. Where in NYC can you get fresh shiso?

    The food that I didn’t used to like that I now crave occasionally is also oysters. I think they are an acquired taste if you didn’t grow up eating them.

  • http://foodmayhem.com/ Jessica@FoodMayhem

    I’m not a fan of cold soups and I’m still waiting to be converted. I can really relate to this post…I had similar thoughts myself.

  • http://foodmayhem.com Jessica@FoodMayhem

    I’m not a fan of cold soups and I’m still waiting to be converted. I can really relate to this post…I had similar thoughts myself.

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  • Yona

    Hi guys, I don’t know what kind of “gazpacho” you have tried but from your comments I don’t think it is the proper one. As a Spaniard, i can tell you there are tons of Gazpachos, and I don’t like them all. Even in the south of Spain (where the dish comes from) you will have people doing it differently with or without green pepper bread, garlic, etc. A proper gazpacho has no taste of “canned tomato” and should be done with fresh ones. Mix 4 or 5 of them with half a cucumber (peeled and with the seeds in the middle removed) and add olive oil, jerez vinegar and salt to taste. Filter the resulting mix and you will have a smooth orange cream, you can then add some water or ice cubes that will met and make it cold. Want to pimp this dish? Try to present a nice lobster piece on a plate with some basilic leafs. You can then pour some gazpacho and decorate with olive oil drops!

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!