Sweetcorn and basil velouté

Sweetcorn and basil velouté

French Lessons
2 litres
20 mins
Cooking time
90 mins
Steve Brown

This velouté is based on a lovely earthy stock made from sweetcorn cobs.


Quantity Ingredient
6 sweetcorn cobs, outer husks and fibres removed
3 litres water
1 garlic bulb
8 sprigs thyme
80g unsalted butter
1 onion, finely sliced
salt and pepper
100ml cream
1/2 bunch basil

Sweetcorn sorbet/sherbet (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
150ml sweetcorn veloute
1 tablespoon liquid glucose


  1. Cut the cobs in half and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels away. Reserve the kernels for the soup. Cut the cobs in half again and place in a stockpot or large saucepan with the water, half the cloves from the garlic bulb and 4 sprigs of thyme. Bring to the boil, skimming well. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, skimming frequently. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Reserve the corn stock.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan until it froths. Finely slice the remaining garlic cloves and add them to the pan with the onion. Season well and sweat over a low heat for about 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent. Add the reserved corn kernels and sweat for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the reserved corn stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the remaining thyme, season again then lower the heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes, skimming regularly. Add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Ladle into a blender in batches and whiz to a very smooth purée. If making the sorbet, reserve 150 ml of the puréed velouté. Use the back of a heavy knife to bruise the basil and add it to the soup. Allow to infuse for around 30 minutes.
  4. Push the soup through a fine sieve, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve immediately or transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.
  5. This velouté will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Because of the high fat content it does not freeze well.
  6. To make the sweetcorn sorbet, simply reserve 150 ml of the velouté before you add the basil, mix well with the glucose and churn it in an ice-cream machine.
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