So I suppose when it comes to food blogs, food writing and cookery shows there is a spectrum of approaches and everyone finds their own voice – but there is always an association with perfection. I for one blame the brilliant Nigella Lawson, who will forever make me feel like an inferior being.
(I say blame…but equally I adore her for it, and for giving the rest of us something to always aspire to.)
I type merely in jest here, but there are some bloggers / writers / chefs out there who are phenomenally adept at making you feel utterly hopeless. They effortlessly shuffle together something wonderful while you’re trying to work on just an idea and find yourself in tears six hours later with all your kitchen utensils (and that’s a lot if you’re me) scattered around you on every inch of surface (floor included), with nothing to show for it but humiliation you’ll never tell anyone about and cheese on toast for dinner.
But I’ve always believed in embracing your shortcomings and making the best of a situation. And my latest venture down this line, with everything in life being out of whack and generally tough to keep up with and readjust at the moment, has actually thrown up a rather nice recipe completely by chance.
Long story short, I booked a grocery delivery, thought I’d unpacked everything that needed doing so immediately before rushing out for an appointment, and forgot something. A whole kilo of frozen sweetcorn, to be precise.
It wasn’t so frozen when I got back. Which was quite a bit later.
Yes, I am an idiot, but this is not news. (Selfish aside – thank whatever power there is up there that I don’t have carpets in the hallway.)
So I had a defrosted, soggy and generally depressed looking bag of otherwise perfectly good sweetcorn and a little time…and as I don’t do food waste if at all possible, I wasn’t going to just kick myself whilst chucking the corn in the bin.
It went into a pan instead. A random experiment with what I had kicking about could only go wrong at worst. Besides, it’s autumn. It’s soup season. It’s time for comfort and warmth and, in the interests of boosting health and immunity as much as possible, a great time to pack nutrient-dense ingredients into your meals.
Turns out it wasn’t so bad!
So here’s my quick option for a sweetcorn soup that’s satisfying, great on the budget and tastes great. Hope you enjoy everyone.
– 500g frozen sweetcorn
– 3 small garlic cloves / 2 medium, grated
– 2 small white potatoes, diced (skin on is fine, just wash)
– 1 small / medium white onion, diced
– 1/2tsp each of ground coriander, cayenne pepper
– Fresh ground black pepper to preference (personally I like a lot but balance how you wish)
– Maldon sea salt to season to taste
– Pinch of ground nutmeg
– 1 x good quality vegetable stock cube (I use Kallo)
1 x another vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp double cream
Seasoning to taste
- Gently heat and sweat off the onions, spices and garlic in some olive oil in a large, flat based pan and use a little water to slacken when the pan gets sticky – add the stock cube (crumbled), keep stirring now and then – keep adding a little water to stop the garlic catching and becoming bitter. Be vigilant and show it a little love – this is the base of a lovely soup so don’t go wandering off.
- When the onions have softened throw in the diced potato, stir to get covered in the stock and spice mix, then top up with water to cover the potatoes. Throw in the sweetcorn and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Take off the heat and cool
- Put the mix into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Return to a pan. Heat through, add another crumbled stock cube and 600ml water, the cream, and season to taste. Reduce to desired consistency
Then you can basically go for your life. Adorn this how you like – I like to just throw in some fresh corn kernels (I had some from the veg patch, thankfully!). But some roast chickpeas, some toasted pumpkin seeds, just a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of hot chilli sauce…make it your own. But you have a lovely rich, sweet but healthy base which has loads of depth of flavour and perfectly transitions the sunshine of summer into the soup-comfort requirements of autumn. Hope you like it x