Creamy Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup (Sup Bap Nam Huong Recipe)

  • Preparation: 30 mins
  • Cooking: 15 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 4

Description Creamy Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup Recipe (Súp Bắp Nấm Hương)

When preparing Creamy Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup (Sup Bap Nam Huong), Vietnamese cooks, like their northern neighbors, often rely on canned creamed corn, once considered an exotic foreign import in Asia. The velvety sweet-savory result fuses East and West. Here in the States, fresh corn is plentiful, and making this soup with kernels cut from the cob yields bright flavors that aren’t cloying. Neither cornstarch nor egg is needed to create a creamy texture. The natural starch in the corn provides it. Some cooks add a variety of embellishments to the soup, but I prefer to keep it simple, using only sliced shiitake mushrooms for their flavor, texture, and visual appeal.
Make sure you use the sweetest corn possible, whether from your local market or farm stand, fresh or frozen.


  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cups corn kernels, cut from 6 to 8 ears, or 2 pounds frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 5½ cups water
  • 6 to 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, stemmed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or thinly sliced green scallion tops

Method Creamy Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Soup Recipe (Súp Bắp Nấm Hương)

1, In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until fragrant and soft. Add the corn, salt, and water, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the corn is very tender. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes before proceeding.
2, Position a coarse-mesh sieve on top of another saucepan. In batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor until velvety smooth. Pour each puréed batch through the sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the mushrooms and set the soup aside until ready to serve. (The soup may be made up to 2 days in advance, cooled, and refrigerated.)
3, Reheat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. If the soup is too thick, thin it with water. Taste and add extra salt, if necessary. Ladle the soup into a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately.

Chef's Note

Give the soup an earthy Thai edge by adding 4 or 5 Thai lime leaves (sometimes labeled makrut or kaffir leaves) when simmering the corn kernels. Remove and discard the leaves before puréeing.

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