Summer Squash, Corn, and Saffron Soup


The subtle magic of a little saffron lends the perfect background note to the pure vegetable essence in this summer squash, corn, and leek purée.

  • 6Servings


  • 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 2 Tbs. grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, rinsed well but not dried
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 11/4 lb. yellow crookneck squash (about 2 medium-large), trimmed and diced (5 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels, cobs reserved
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. crushed toasted sliced almonds


1 | Stir saffron into 1 Tbs. hot water in small bowl. Set aside.
2 | Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until leeks are soft. Uncover, and continue to cook 6 to 8 minutes more, or until leeks begin to brown. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds.
3 | Add sherry to deglaze pan, and scrape any browned bits off bottom of pan. Stir in saffron and steeping water. Add squash, corn kernels, corncobs, and 6 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover partially, and simmer 25 minutes, or until squash is soft and translucent.
4 | Remove soup from heat; discard corncobs. Cool 10 minutes, then purée soup in batches in blender or food processor.
5 | Gently rewarm soup in pot, and stir in sherry vinegar. Ladle warm soup into bowls, and serve garnished with toasted almonds and mint (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 128
  • Carbohydrate Content: 17 g
  • Fat Content: 6 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Protein Content: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 0.5 g
  • Sodium Content: 16 mg
  • Sugar Content: 6 g