Friday, 14 January 2011

Dazzling Dishes - Elegant Sweetcorn Soup

I have always been a big fan of sweetcorn yet it is a vegetable that so many people dislike. Perhaps such disdain arises from its association with the watery muck so often served I many a sub-par canteen or the sugary tinned slop that so many of us ate as students and will never touch again as a result. Often, the nearest one gets to real corn is the sad little cobbette served beside a couple of pieces of fried chicken, which, although tasty, have not seen a field in month if not years – consigned to a cryogenic existence in a walk in deep freeze.

As Janes Grigson points out in her comprehensive Vegetable Book, nothing compares to a young corn-on-the-cob picked fresh of the stalk! Unfortunately not all of us have ready access to acres of cornfields and so are forced to go to our grocers or supermarkets to seek out a perfect specimen. Thankfully the standard that is now available to the consumer is relatively high (that is if you buy in season). For example, I brought some very flavourful and delicious cobs from Morrisons the other day!

I think that the other reason that corn has been relegated to the Conference of English culinary delights might be attributed to it’s modern conception as: animal feed, tinned product and breakfast cereal. I fear that this will not change that much in the years to come and that we will never – at least not in the future – embrace sweetcorn as a Premiership vegetable!

In the meantime I have come up with this killer soup which is easy to make and tastes delicious. It makes an imaginative change to the same old boiled or broiled corn slathered in butter (delicious as that is!).


3 Corn (Stripped from the cob)                        2 shallots (finely chopped)
1½ pints of chicken Stock                                    1 handful of Celery (finely chopped)
Large Knob of butter                                                Slug of Groundnut oil
Pinch of medium curry powder                        pinch of ground coriander
Pinch paprika                                                            Seasoning


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot and fry the onions, celery, curry powder and coriander until the onions are soft (the celery will still have bite but this is not important as it will be sent through the blender and then sieved).

  1. Add the corn and stock and simmer until the corn is tender.

  1. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pot with the lid on.

  1. Blend the soup until it is of the finest consistency possible (you will never be able to remove the fibrous husks through the blender)

  1. Gradually pass the soup through a fine sieve using a ladle, now the soup should be of a smooth consistency and is ready to serve.

  1. To create a bisque like consistency use the areolator to froth up.

Nb. If you want to thin the soup out, gradually add milk until you reach the consistency that you desire

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