Ray Benson’s Famous Corn Soup

Feb 10th, 2017 | By | Category: blog, cook something, soups and salads
Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel Makes his Famous Corn Soup

A bad picture of Ray Benson serving a good bowl of soup.

Ray Benson, front man for Grammy Award winning Asleep at the Wheel, loves cooking, and he loves corn. So, it makes sense his signature dish would feature the charismatic kernel.

Ray’s go-to recipe is his Famous Corn Soup. “It’s famous,” he tells me, “because whenever anyone wants a recipe from me, this is the one I give them.”

So the soup, like so many celebutantes, is famous for being famous.

Wearing a chef’s jacket, Ray quickly and confidently negotiates his large, yet crowed, kitchen, moving too fast most times for this (not very good) amature photographer to get a clear picture.  Who am I kidding; I couldn’t even manage a clear shot when he wasn’t moving.

Although he owns nearly every kitchen appliance and gadget known to the cooking world, the only special tool he used for this dish, was one to remove the kernels from fresh corn. It worked great!

It took less than 30 minutes for Ray to make the soup from start to finish, and it was delicious. “It’s even better the next day,” says Ray, “if it lasts that long.”

Ray Benson’s Famous Corn Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6-8 cups whole milk
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 11/2 sticks unsalted butter (do not use margarine–may substitute 1/4 cup olive oil for 1/2 stick butter)
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 3-4 chopped green chiles


  1. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup of the milk and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan or soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in butter (and olive oil if using) until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add spices and stir to dissolve them.
  3. Add the corn and then transfer to a blender or food processor.
  4. Turn the machine on and, while it is running, add the reserved 1 cup of dissolved cornstarch and milk.  Return to medium heat and add masa harina and the remaining milk, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the green chiles and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.  Salt to taste.

Thickness varies–thin with milk or water to your taste.

To serve, pour the hot soup into oven proof serving bowls.  Top with grated cheese and heat in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.  Do not brown.  Top with picante or pico de gallo and serve with chips or corn tortillas.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe. My wife loves corn soup with a passion. Used to see you guys along with flash Cadillac in Houston in the 70’s !,,,