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Corn Soup with Radish and Crab

Crabmeat, chives, and grated radishes make a colorful floating island in this yellow-corn soup. A dusting of nutmeg contributes to the soup's piquant flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 1999


For the stock

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 ears yellow corn, husks removed
  • 2 ears white corn, husks removed

For the soup

  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more for thinning
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and peppercorns. Let cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cut kernels off corncobs with a sharp knife. Set corn aside, reserving cobs.

  3. Add 8 cups water to the onion mixture along with the reserved corncobs. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer until liquid is reduced by almost half and is milky and very flavorful, about 1 hour. Remove corncobs, scraping as much liquid as possible off cobs back into the pan. Discard cobs. Cool corn stock to room temperature.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add reserved corn kernels, and blanch 1 minute. Remove from heat, strain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

  5. Set aside 1/3 cup corn kernels for garnish. Combine remaining kernels and cooled corn stock in the bowl of a food processor, working in batches if necessary. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a fine sieve set over a bowl. Press down hard on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Stir in milk to thin soup to desired consistency; transfer liquid to refrigerator. Chill.

  6. Meanwhile, pick over crabmeat, removing any shells or cartilage. Season with lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grate radishes using small holes of box grater, and set aside. Snip chives into 1/4-inch pieces with sharp kitchen scissors; set aside.

  7. Adjust seasoning of chilled soup with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls. Place 1/4 cup crabmeat mixture in each. Divide remaining 1/3 cup corn among bowls, and garnish with grated radish and snipped chives. If desired, grate fresh nutmeg and/or sprinkle cayenne over each bowl, and serve.

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