Make Bryan Calvert of James’s Corn Soup With Heirloom Grape Tomatoes and Grilled Shrimp


James in Brooklyn is battling the summer heat with its Summer Supper menu, a $30 three-course prix fixe available nightly from 5:30 to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. Chef Bryan Calvert hopes to tempt you into visiting with his recipe for Corn Soup With Heirloom Grape Tomatoes and Grilled Shrimp.

“When I think of summer, I think of corn, tomatoes, and shrimp,” says Calvert. “This soup combines all three. The soup can be served either hot or cold. Chilled, it’s great for a barbecue. Everything can be prepared beforehand — just grill the shrimp and your ready to go. The sweetness of the corn pairs well with the tangy-ness of the tomatoes and the char of the shrimp, creating a mouthful of bold flavors.”

Corn Soup With Heirloom Grape Tomatoes and Grilled Shrimp

Yield: 4

4 ears fresh summer corn

Clean and shuck the corn. Remove kernels from cob and reserve both.

For the corn stock:
corncob, cut in quarters
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of (lemon) thyme

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add a pinch of salt to the corncobs and aromatics, and cover with water. Simmer for an hour, then strain. Discard the cobs and reserve the broth.

For the soup:
3 ounces butter
corn kernels from 4 ears
2 shallots, cleaned and diced
1 clove garlic
1 fresh onion, peeled and diced
cream or milk, as needed (1-2 cups)

In a large stockpot over low heat, sweat all ingredients for 15 minutes. Do not brown. Cover with corn stock and simmer for an additional half-hour. When the corn is sweet and tender, remove from heat and puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust consistency with cream or milk.

For the shrimp:
8 pieces extra large head-on shrimp
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Peel and de-vein the shrimp. In a mixing bowl, combine the thyme and oil. Marinate the shrimp, then grill on both sides to desired doneness.

For the tomatoes:
1 pint mixed small grape heirloom tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chiffonade of fresh basil

Cut tomatoes in half and marinate for an hour with olive oil, salt and pepper, lemon zest, chives, and basil at room temperature.

To assemble:
Gently heat soup. Place a quarter of the tomato mixture in each bowl. Pour hot soup around the tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with grilled shrimp and serve.

Have a restaurant tip or other food-related news? Send it to