Summer Corn Soup with Grilled Shrimp Sriracha Salsa – a perfect starter course for summer dinner parties or as a tasty light lunch with a side salad.
With sweet corn season upon us and a super simple, Summer Corn Soup recipe already in mind, I was delighted to be asked by KitchenAid to review their brand new Torrent ™ Blender. Admittedly, I was very intrigued to see the new Magnetic Drive technology in action, which not only securely holds the blender pitcher in place but also provides the power that moves the blades. The Magnetic Drive means that the bottom of the pitcher is completely flat with no seals to leak, which is a big bonus in my mind too. With a die cast metal body, a 1.8 HP motor capable of speeds up to 18,000 RPM, this machine certainly sounded more than capable of all blender tasks.
A pureed soup seemed the perfect choice to test this product because I consider that to be one of the most challenging tasks for any blender. Like many, I’ve experienced mini disasters with pureed soups that pop the cover off a blender and splash over the counter top because you have started to blend it on too high a speed setting. All of that is avoided in the Torrent blender using a front loading design with an added safety locking mechanism. This blender is very stable with none of the rocking at higher speeds that you see in some blenders, where it’s necessary to put your hand on top to steady it. A pre-programmed soup and sauce mode is one of the dedicated settings on the Torrent blender and in my experience it worked like a charm. I’ve included this video of the approximately 1 1/2 minute cycle which automatically starts slow, ramps up the speed gradually, and beeps when it turns itself off after the cycle ends. You can actually push the button and walk away; no manual pulsing to start or manually changing speeds necessary!
As someone who loves to make things like homemade mayonnaise, aioli and hummus, another feature that I particularly loved about the Torrent blender is the ingredient feed at the top which allows for easy addition of ingredients at any time while still blending. The opening is also a little wider and more practical in actual use than the hole in the cover you typically see in other blenders. Because the motor is at the back of the Torrent blender and not in the base, it has a lower height profile which easily fit under my older style cupboards; that has been a problem for me in the past. The lower profile also means the ingredient feed is more accessible and easier to use. The few seconds of video below shows Spouse, who is average height at 5 feet 4 inches adding the milk to the corn soup. The height is comfortable enough to be able to easily slowly stream oil into a mayonnaise for example.
The soup recipe that I tried in the Torrent blender turned out perfectly silky smooth and delicious. Some corn soup recipes I’ve read call for the soup to be pressed through a sieve to ensure that it is perfectly smooth. That was completely unnecessary with the Torrent blender, meaning that all the flavour, nutrition and healthy fiber remain in the soup where it belongs.
I love that the front loading design means the blender pitcher can be accessed almost as easily as the carafe in a coffee maker. At only 16 inches high it will fit under almost all standard cabinets and at 7 1/2 inches wide will not take up a lot of valuable space on the counter top; all while looking very sleek and beautiful. It looks terrific next to my KitchenAid stand mixer and food processor.
In both design and function, the Torrent Blender exceeded my expectations. It crushed ice with ease, perfectly pureed my soup and made a smooth, splatter-free mayonnaise in my tests. I’m looking forward to years of great use from my innovative and stylish Torrent Blender.
As for this terrific summer soup, you can easily use frozen sweet corn whenever fresh is not available, it will still be delicious. This soup would make an ideal starter course for summer get-togethers or pair it with grilled shrimp or chicken skewers or a side salad for a light lunch. Here, I’ve taken one of the grilled shrimp skewers and chopped the components along with adding some some fresh chives and a little hot sriracha sauce to make a delicious salsa which you can add to the soup when serving. The slightly charred, smoky flavours are incredibly complementary with the sweet soup and provide great textural difference, making the soup much more satisfying when serving as a main course at lunch. A simple grilled vegetable salsa would be a tasty vegetarian option as well.
- 1 small onion chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup milk or try undiluted 2% evaporated milk for extra richness
- 1 dozen large shrimp
- 1 in small red onion cut chunks
- 1 in small bell pepper cut chunks
- 1 tsp vegetable oil approximately
- 2 tsp sriracha sauce more or less to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- salt and pepper to season
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, slowly saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions have softened but not browned.
Add the corn, thyme, salt, pepper and vegetable stock and bring to a slow simmer.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then puree the soup in a blender. When smooth, pour in the milk and blend well.
Return to soup to the pot and simmer for only a couple of minutes more. Taste the soup and give it a final seasoning of salt and pepper if needed before serving with the grilled shrimp salsa added to the center of the bowls.
Use metal skewers if you can but if you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for about and hour before use.
Add alternating pieces of shrimp, onion and pepper to the skewers. Brush the shrimp and vegetables lightly on both sides with the vegetable oil before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Add the skewers to a very hot preheated grill and cook for about 1 and a half to 2 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp you use.
Remove the shrimp and vegetables from the skewers and chop them into small pieces.
Toss the chopped shrimp and vegetables with the sriracha sauce and chopped chives before serving with the soup.
Rock Recipes is pleased to have had the product and ingredients provided by KitchenAid for this review. Opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.