Sunday, 13 October 2013

Spicy Sweetcorn Soup

Autumn has definitely arrived. The leaves are turning red and golden, falling from the trees to be crunched underfoot. The nights are drawing in and the weather is turning cold and blustery. This weekend (so far) it has rained constantly and an icy wind is whistling past my windows. In weather like this it is the perfect time to stay snugly indoors and lock yourself away in the kitchen. I normally resort to baking but in such wet and windy weather I was craving a big bowlful of soup. There is no other food that is so comforting and warming on a cold day than soup. It seems to warm you from the inside out.

Root vegetable soups are one of my favourites, but it’s not quite cold enough yet for parsnips and other winter veg, so I decided to make use of a big bag of frozen sweetcorn and make sweetcorn soup. I’ve seen this on a few blogs in the past but ever attempted one myself. To give my soup an extra warming kick I spiced it up with a couple of green chillies, which lent a slow warming heat that lingered pleasantly rather than being a fiery heat.

I like my soups to be thick and smooth, but I also wanted a little texture and hit upon the idea of reserving some of the sweetcorn, chilli and red pepper to use as a topping. I fried it until it became toasted and bronzed and sprinkled it on the soup when serving. This worked well and I loved the look of the red, green and yellow colours together.

The soup was thick, creamy and comforting. The sweetcorn added a wonderful natural sweetness, while still being savoury. It’s so creamy you would almost suspect it had some cream stirred in at the end. Why not hug a big bowlful of this and snuggle up on the sofa for a lazy weekend? There are some perks to the rain.

Spicy Sweetcorn Soup
Ingredients
1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp oil
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 small potato
2 green chillies
1 red pepper
1½ pints vegetable stock
600g frozen sweetcorn
Salt and pepper

Method
Start by reserving ½ green chilli, ¼ red pepper and 100g sweetcorn and set aside for toppings later.
Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a large pan. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Place the lid on and leave to sweat gently for a few minutes.
Peel and dice the potato. Cut the remaining 1½ green chillies into chunks (you can remove the seeds or leave them in for an extra kick). Add to the pan, stirring to ensure nothing is sticking to the base and cover with the lid once more.
Roughly chop the remaining ¾ red pepper and add to the pan and leave everything to cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, before reducing to a simmer and then leaving to cook for 15-20 minutes, with the lid only slightly on the pan, until all the veg is softened.
Stir in the remaining 500g of sweetcorn and leave to cook for 5 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender or in a liquidizer until smooth.
Return the soup to the pan over a low heat to keep warm while you make the topping.
Very finely dice the reserved green chilli and red pepper. Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan and add the chilli, red pepper and reserved 100g sweetcorn. Fry over a high heat until the sweetcorn is lightly bronzed and going golden at the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top each bowl with 1-2 tbsp of the toasted sweetcorn mix. Eat and enjoy.
Serves 4 generously

4 comments:

The Caked Crusader said...

This looks lovely - perfect for the weather at the moment. I find myself adding sweetcorn to so many things, but like the idea of it getting to be the star here

Elle said...

Looks so perfect for autumn and I love the idea of thickening it with the potato and corn using the immersion blender. Must try this one!

Kate D said...

This looks delicious Katie. We are definitely getting to soup season as the cold weather sets in and this soup looks so warm and perfectly comforting..... Yum!

Johanna GGG said...

that soup looks delicious - it is the sort of thing I love to add tofu bacon to (or smoked paprika) because I think corn is great with smoky flavours - good luck with keeping warm in the cooler weather