Spicy Corn Soup with Shiitakes & Green Onions

After the cobs get off work, the vegetables themselves (juicy corn, slippery mushrooms, herby green onions) take a swift dunk — less to cook through, more to warm up while staying sprightly. A shake of whatever hot sauce you love (read: is already in your fridge) adds both kick and acidity to counter all the corny sweetness.

Serves 4


  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 2 tsp hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 225g (8oz) shiitakes, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch (115g/4oz) green onions


  1. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Add the naked cobs to a stockpot along with 8 cups (1.9L/3.3 pints) water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a lively simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to 5 cups (1.2L/2.1 pints) and tastes corny. At this point, cut the heat and remove and discard the cobs. Stir in the hot sauce and 1 teaspoon salt, then adjust both to taste.
  2. Bring the seasoned broth back to a simmer and stir in the corn kernels and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have significantly wilted, and the corn is crisp-tender. Meanwhile, thinly slice the green onions and stir them in to wilt. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste. Serve the soup with something starchy, like steamed grains or warm bread.

Recipe from Food52 Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, copyright © 2021 by Food52 Inc. (Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.). Photographs copyright ©James Ransom