Sweet Corn Soup is quick and easy to make in the instant pot and full of veggies like beans, carrots, and of course sweet corn. A vegan and gluten-free soup that's so light and fresh, you'll be reaching out for second and third helpings!
This sweet corn soup recipe is made with some very common ingredients and an easy method, but don't let its simplicity fool you. It's very tasty and wholesome, and that's because there's a lot going on despite its apparent simplicity. It is primarily a savory soup, but it is also just a little sweet and a little sour with just a hint of spice, thanks to the corn, white vinegar and white pepper (and one green chilli pepper) that go into it. Yet, none of these flavors dominate, and everything's in perfect balance like the notes in a fine-tuned symphony. No wonder then that this is an extremely popular number on Indian restaurant menus. I'm sure anyone who's done the rounds of restaurants in India has enjoyed sweet corn soup before their meal!
Note: exact quantities are given in the recipe card further down.
Besides the ingredients given below, you will also need 6 cups plain water.
How to make sweet corn soup in the instant pot
- Take four fresh corn cobs and scrape off the kernels in a bowl (as in the picture above).
- Take four tablespoons corn kernels in a blender, add one-fourth cup water and blend to a smooth puree.
- Dice the carrot, green beans and scallions into small pieces. Keep the scallion whites and greens in separate bowls.
- Mince some fresh ginger root or keep one teaspoon store-bought ginger paste aside for use in the recipe.
- With your instant pot switched on to the sauté setting (less), heat the oil in the steel insert and add the chopped scallion whites (bulbs), green chilli, and ginger. Add a couple of tablespoons water if the paste sizzles too much. Fry for about 30 seconds in the hot oil.
- Add the vegetables (green beans, carrot, corn) as well as the corn puree you prepared in step 2 of prep. Don't add the scallion green just yet. Also tip in some salt to taste and the ground white pepper. Sauté the veggies for 2 minutes.
- Add 6 cups plain water and mix well with the other ingredients. Pressure cook for 2 minutes and release pressure after 5 minutes.
- Open the pot and switch to sauté again. Add the vinegar and cornflour dissolved in water. Stir for a minute or two until the soup thickens, then cancel sauté. Top the soup with some reserved scallion greens and serve warm in deep bowls.
Top tips for the perfect soup
- Use fresh corn only for this soup if you want the perfect flavor and freshness. Canned corn or even frozen corn just does not cut it. Don't worry, it is very easy to scrape off the corn kernels off the cobs; it takes all of three minutes!
- Add the cornflour as you go to get the desired thickness. Four to five teaspoons are usually enough but you may add less or more as per your preference.
- After adding the cornflour, do not cook the soup for too long or the soup will thicken too much. You want a slightly thick soup but most definitely not a sludgy one!
- If you don't like green beans, you can also add some shredded cabbage. It tastes quite good with this soup.
- To spice up the soup, you can add a little chilli oil or soy sauce. The latter is usually added to hot and sour soup but it is a personal preference at the end of the day. If you want to let the soup remain gluten-free, however, add tamari instead of soy sauce. Read more about the difference between the two in this post by Kitchn.
An Interesting Variation: Egg Drop Soup
Sweet corn soup tastes good as it is, but if you want to make it restaurant style, you can add an egg to it. Note: like the soy sauce, this will make the soup non-vegan, but if you don't mind that, go right ahead.
How to add an egg to the soup - Beat one egg in a bowl. Add one tablespoon plain water to the beaten egg to thin it out and make it a pouring consistency. You will add the egg in the last step of the recipe, just after you've added the vinegar and cornflour and the soup is still quite hot. Pour the egg from a height in a thin, steady stream and keep stirring the soup below with your free hand. The egg will form ribbons in the soup as you drop it and there you have your egg drop soup ready to be eaten right away!
Why this soup recipe works
- A year-round soup - This sweet corn soup works in the summer and winter. It is light enough to be enjoyed in the summer and chunky and nourishing enough to stave off the cold.
- Quick and easy - And how! The soup cooks in two minutes in the instant pot. Granted, the pot takes ten minutes to come to pressure, but the pressure cooking time itself is just two minutes. You won't sweat too much in the prep steps either:)
- Vegan, gluten-free, and fresh - no iffy ingredients here, just lots of goodness!
- Really delicious - all those flavors working together give a depth and taste to this simple soup and make it so delish.
Two more instant pot vegan and gluten-free soups for you
- Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup - Butternut squash and carrot soup is so smooth and creamy, you can sip it from a mug. Lemongrass paste, ground ginger, and Thai red curry paste give this soup citrusy, spicy flavors while coconut cream brightens it up.
- Minestrone Soup - minestrone soup is the best, most comforting vegan soup I know! It's chockfull of a medley of veggies, beans, and pasta cooked in vegetable broth and ripe tomatoes. The soup is seasoned with Italian herbs and chilli flakes for that extra kick.
Sweet Corn Soup
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced or ground
- 1 green chilli
- 1 bunch scallions whites and greens separated
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup carrot diced
- ½ cup green beans cut into quarters
- ½ teaspoon white pepper ground
- salt to taste
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 5 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in 8 teaspoon water
- Scrape off two cups kernels off fresh corn cobs.
- Take four tablespoons of corn kernels and blend to a paste in your blender. Add water as necessary.
- Dice and chop the carrots, green beans and scallions. Keep the scallion greens and whites separate.
- Mince the ginger if using fresh ginger root.
- On sauté, add the oil to the steel insert of your instant pot and add the ginger, green chilli and scallion whites. Fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the corn, carrot, green beans, white pepper, and salt. Sauté the vegetables for two minutes.
- Add the water and mix well. Cancel sauté and secure the lid. Make sure the steam release vent is sealed. Press the pressure cooking button (high) and set the timer to two minutes. When the timer beeps, wait for five minutes before releasing the pressure.
- Open the pot and press sauté again. Add the vinegar and cornflour slurry, and top with a few reserved scallion greens. You don't have to add all the greens if you don't want to. Stir the soup until it thickens slightly. It will take a minute or two to reach the desired consistency. Cancel sauté and spoon out the soup in deep bowls. Serve warm.
- Use fresh sweet corn for this recipe. Canned or frozen corn will not yield the same flavor or freshness.
- Use less or more cornflour to thicken the soup to the desired consistency, but don't overcook the soup after adding cornflour. As soon as you see it visibly thickening, switch off the heat.
- Add some shredded cabbage if you want in place of, or in addition to the green beans.
- Add a little chilli oil for extra spice or some soy sauce or tamari for added flavor.