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Chilled Corn & Buttermilk Soup

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Easy and quick
Chilled corn and buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner This Chilled Corn and Buttermilk soup recipe is my variation on a recipe created by Melissa Clark and published in the New York Times. The beauty of this recipe is there no need to turn on your stove to make this soup. It is made entirely in a blender or food processor. You have the option to grill some corn to garnish the soup, but you can also garnish with raw corn and avoid all cooking. If corn is out of season, feel free to use frozen corn.

6-Ingredient Soup

The ingredients for this chilled corn soup are simple: corn, buttermilk, basil, green onions, lime and garlic. Blend until smooth and silky.

Serve Chilled and Garnished

Serve corn and buttermilk soup in freezer-chilled glasses. Portions should between ¾ and one cup per serving. I like to add several tablespoons of grilled or raw corn into the soup to give it crunch and to accentuate the corn flavor.

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If you don’t want to be bothered with grilling the corn, simply slice kernels off the cob and garnish with raw corn.   Trader Joe's Crunchy Jalapeno, Lime & Onion | Something New For Dinner I like to garnish with a few drops of jalapeño-infused chili oil from Stonehouse Olive Oil and a spoonful or two of Trader Joe’s jalapeño Garlic Crunch, if you can find it. Right now they are out of stock in Southern California. If you have not tried this new TJ’s condiment, prepared to be blown away. You will be using it on everything. It is that good.
Note: I have no financial arrangement with either Stonehouse or Trader Joe's. I just love their products.
Chilled corn buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner Add an edible flower to make the presentation beautiful.

Make in Advance

Prepare this soup long enough in advance so that it is thoroughly chilled. Make extra as this soup will hold for several days in the fridge and makes for a nice lunch or dinner appetizer.

Health Benefits of Buttermilk

Buttermilk is the foundation for this chilled corn soup. Buttermilk sounds like a recipe for a heart attack, but buttermilk can be surprisingly good for you due to live cultures, similar to what is found in yogurt. This Chilled Buttermilk and Corn soup will aid in replenishing your gut biome if you use a quality product with live cultures.
Traditionally, buttermilk is the by-product created when milk or cream is churned into butter. Today, most buttermilk is cultured from low or non-fat milk by adding cultures to it in much the same way yogurt is made. Buttermilk is low in calories, high in protein, phosphorus and vitamins A, C & D. It is great for hydration,  digestion, replenishing electrolytes and boosting your metabolism. Buttermilk helps create healthy teeth and bones, facilitates weight loss, eases heartburn and helps to manage high cholesterol.

Live Cultures Are Key

The key to any quality fermented product is to buy products with live cultures. Most commercial buttermilks are pasteurized at very high heat and the live cultures are killed off.  Remember pasteurization is a function of heat and time, so the same safety goals can be achieved by heating a product to lower temperatures for a longer period of time. Additionally, some manufacturers will add live cultures back in after the pasteurization process.
To get the benefit of a probiotic in a product you want to avoid high heat pasteurization. This goes for all fermented products including buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, kimchee, miso, sauerkraut and pickles. For the best nutrition, read the labels to be sure the cultures are alive and kicking. Low Heat Pasteurized Buttermilk | Something New For Dinner I like Kalona Supernatural Organic Cultured Reduced Fat Buttermilk.

More Chilled Buttermilk Soup Recipes

Chilled Beet and Buttermilk soup | Something New For Dinner
Chilled Yellow Beet Buttermilk Soup
This chilled corn and buttermilk soup was so delicious I was inspired to make a few variations: Chilled Beet and Buttermilk Soup is on the blog and a Chilled Cucumber and Avocado and Buttermilk Soup recipe is coming soon. What other variations can you imagine? Print

Chilled Corn & Buttermilk Soup

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5 from 1 review

A quick and easy chilled soup that is perfect for warm days when it is too hot to cook and you need something light and refreshing.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch, Appetizers
  • Cuisine: New American


  • 6 corn cobs, shucked, plus 2 more for grilling
  • 3 cups buttermilk with live cultures
  • 8 green onions, trimmed, including 2 for garnish
  • 4 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • Chili infused olive oil for garnish (optional)
  • Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Garlic Crunch (optional)
  • Edible flowers (optional)


  1. Grill 2 whole corn on the cobs on a medium-hot barbecue until the kernels begin to color. Remove and allow to cool. Cut kernels from roasted cobs and set aside until ready to serve. This step is optional. If you don’t feel like heating up the BBQ, just use raw corn kernels or skip them entirely for an ultra smooth soup. I think the extra crunch the kernels add is worth the effort.
  2. Put remaining corn, buttermilk, 6 green onions, lime juice, basil, garlic and salt in a blender. A food processor will also work, but will not achieve quite the silky smooth texture that will result from using a blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for several hours or days until ready to serve.
  3. Rinse with water and chill serving bowls or glasses in the freezer at least 20 minutes before serving. Place 3 – 4 T of grilled corn kernels in each cup. Pour ¾ to 1 cup pureed soup into each glass and garnish with a few drops of chili olive oil, some finely sliced green onions and a spoonful or two of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Crunch condiment. Add an edible flower to each bowl for a beautiful presentation.


  1. Kim says:

    Soup is easy to make, and very refreshing.

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