Chilled Corn Soup with Scallion Toasts and Smoked Salmon

Gavin Kaysen

Demi, Minneapolis

JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen prepared this Daniel Boulud original for Chefs & Champagne. He recommends splurging on Sevruga or Golden Osetra caviar for a special-occasion garnish.


Corn Soup:

  • 8 ears fresh yellow corn, kernels removed and reserved and cobs reserved
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 garlic clove, peeled
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Scallion Toasts:
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • Four 1/4-inch thick baguette slices
  • 4 ounces sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 ounce caviar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


To make the soup, combine the reserved corncobs, chicken stock, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the cobs.

While the above mixture is simmering, warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, leeks, celery, thyme, and garlic clove and season with salt and white pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the corn kernels and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the corn has softened slightly. Add the chicken stock and milk mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface to remove any foam that rises to the top.

Remove and discard the thyme sprig and garlic clove half. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and purée until smooth. Add the Tabasco. Use a rubber spatula to push the purée through a fine-meshed sieve. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

To make the scallion toasts, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Warm the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the scallions. Season with salt and white pepper and sauté until very tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Divide the scallions among the baguette slices and spread to cover evenly. Place the baguette slices on a sheet tray and toast in the oven until crisp, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Divide the cold soup among 4 bowls. Drape a piece of smoked salmon over each piece of warm scallion toast and top with a small mound of caviar, if using. Float the toast in the soup and finish with a sprinkle of chives.


4 servings