My head always pops up like a meerkat on alert when I hear of or see sweetcorn soup on a menu. I lived in Hong Kong as a child and sweetcorn soup was one of my favourite dishes. On the soup note, on a recent visit to Moro, Exmouth Market EC1R, I had a ridiculously good fava bean soup. Whereas the sweetcorn soup of my childhood was a thininsh one with bits of sweetcorn in it the fava bean soup was of a thick purée like consistency. I wondered if I could make a sweetcorn soup with a similar consistency. The result is certainly thicker (I added cannellini beans to contribute to the texture and add a slightly meaty hint) but not smooth as sweetcorn by nature is a bit bitty rather than the smooth squishy texture of cannellini beans – elegantly put. I think if you have a really good blender it would become more smooth.
Takes 5 mins to prepare // 20 mins to cook // Serves 2
What you need:
Half a white onion
500ml boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube or 2 teaspoons of stock powder
50g cannellini beans
300g frozen sweetcorn
4 dessert spoons sour cream
Dried chilli flakes
What you need to do:
1. Chop the white onion into small pieces.
2. Put half the butter in a small pan, add the onions and soften them at a low heat.
3. Boil a kettle and pour 500ml of the boiling water into a jug with the crumbled stock cube. Stir then add to the softened onions.
4. Turn the heat up a little and add the frozen sweetcorn and cannellini beans (I prefer using frozen to tinned sweetcorn as the kernels remain plump and hard).
5. Simmer for about 6 minutes. Take off the heat and pour the sweetcorn and beans with a bit of the stock into a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds.
6. Return the blitzed corn and beans to the pan, add the remaining butter, a dollop of sour cream, stir and continue cooking for about 3 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Add a drizzle of sour cream on top and a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes.
Speaking of corn there is a very interesting section in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma about just how much corn is present in our lives without even eating it. It’s made into corn syrup which, other than being present in many foods such as soft drinks and even bread, is used to create the glossy sheen on the covers of magazines. If you are interested in where our food comes from and how the food industry has changed our diets this is a very interesting and revealing read.