Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Spicy Sweetcorn Soup

I've had a long day today as I was in Berwick Upon Tweed for the early hours of the morning, and then the drive back to the West coast was miserable as there was rain, sleet and snow (sometimes all together). Hey I thought it was Spring. So I was glad when I finally got home to this flavourful golden soup flecked with green, red and brown. With the warm soup bowl cupped in my hands, I slowly slurped away savouring each mouthful - until of course I needed a spoon for the sweetcorn and beans.

I made this spicy sweetcorn soup on Sunday along with the Shepherdess pie knowing I was going to have a busy week ahead of me. This soup is actually quite spicy, something that D commented on. I personally appreciated this as my throat is still scratchy from all the coughing, so the additional red chilli hit was soothing somewhat, but feel free to omit this if you want it a touch mild.
I haven't been able to grow my own sweetcorn here. I know it can be done, as last year some fellow plotholders were harvesting their own (though not exceptional ones as they weren't exactly boasting about it). However, I haven't had any luck at all. The closest I've come to growing sweetcorn here is with a variety called strawberry sweetcorn which I grew for popping. Although the little seeds imitated tiny red rubies, I have to tell you I was disappointed with the final result. Oh they grew well, they just didn't store well. When I actually went to make some strawberry popcorn, each kernel had gone mouldy. Anyway, I digress, for this spicy sweetcorn soup like many home cooks I am reliant on frozen sweetcorn and there is nothing wrong with it at all. Its a very good substitute for fresh, just like peas.
Spicy Sweetcorn Soup
Serves 4 - 6
400g frozen sweetcorn
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely minced
2 carrots, grated
4 sticks of celery, including leaves, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chilli powder
Optional: 1 red chilli, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pints of water
1 x 400g tin of kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh coriander, minced
In a large pan, gently heat the oil, then stir in all of the vegetables. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat and sweat for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Next add all the spices including the garlic and the red chilli if using. Cook for a few minutes, then add 200g of the sweetcorn and all of the water to the pan and bring to a boil. Then turn it down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. When cool enough blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Now return to the heat and add in the remaining sweetcorn and kidney beans. Heat thoroughly, before stirring in the chopped coriander. Adapted from Cornucopia at Home: The Cookbook.


  1. Mmm, that soup looks very comforting! I hope you are completely better soon:)

  2. Thank you Janet.
    The weather is not helping, as every time I get caught under the rain I suddenley feel 'grey' and 'grumpy' again. But i am much, much better - so thats a good thing.

  3. The soup looks delicious; its bright color and the heat from the chili would be very cheering on a cold day. Glad to hear that you're feeling better.

  4. Thank you Rose.
    It is delicious. Your right about the colour and the chilli - perfect for a cold day.

  5. I agree with you, nothing wrong with frozen sweetcorn...I do grow mine but eat it all as soon as it is ripe, I don't store it...and I can never grow good peas...so envious when I see people with lots of peas, I only get an handful each time....so frozen it is!

    Good soup, could you use canned sweet corns for it?

  6. Looks super yumm! Like some home cooked new england food! :)

  7. Thanks Alessandra.
    Ah thats interesting. You can grow sweetcorn well, I cannot. I can grow peas well, you cannot. That made me smile :D

    According the the original recipe in the book, it stipulates frozen corn and not to sub with canned. I think I would agree, canned sweetcorn is not as juicy. I hope that answer helps.

    Thanks Vic.
    I thought that when I was making it, but according the original recipe - its Mexican inspired.

  8. mmm, this looks like a healthy and hearty bowl. I love sweetcorn but rarely do more than open the can and reach for the spoon. It's a little chilly for me still for eating too much salad so this would be a lovely warming recipe to try

  9. I wish I could send some warmer weather your way!! I hope you feel all better soon!! Your soup sounds like the perfect cure - so soothing and hearty and healthful and scrumptious all in one!

  10. Lovely soup. I made soup tonight for dinner too. My next soup will be spicy sweetcorn.
    Have a great evening!

  11. I've never eaten sweetcorn soup, but I love sweetcorn so this is one to try.

  12. I loved your description of actually eating the soup, I really felt like I was supping it myself, it was lovely. I'm going to give this one a go, especially since it's gone a little cold again, have a good day, Karen x

  13. I agree about the frozen sweetcorn, in fact I read that frozen veg is 'fresher' than the veg from supermarkets, so that's what I use all winter unless I need something fresh for a particular recipe.

    I'm sick of this weather, today it's dark, windy and very rainy, we could get sleet or snow too.

  14. oh wow, my mum just made thai sweetcorn soup last night for the first time! The one she made had too many corn bits in it, i think it was quite different to yours now that I think about it :)


  15. Not sure how far north you are but I am in County Durham and managed to grow a great crop of Hopi Indian Blue sweetcorn last year.

    I got the seeds from these guys http://www.jungleseeds.co.uk/SeedOrders/contents/en-uk/d67.html

    I think I was a little late last year as I didn't buy the seeds until second week in April. Despite this they germinated and outgrew the propogator (unheated on windowsill) in 5 days and were transferred to the garden when they were about a foot tall.

    Despite being planted in heavy clay soil by a complete novice and then left to fend for themselves they grew to nearly 7 feet and produced 3-4 large cobs per plant.

    The blue/purple black colour (think Quink Ink) was helpful to show when they were ready to pick and the flavour was really deeply nutty. I can definately recommend them as easy to grow as I am an idiot and have never grown anything before them.

  16. I love any kind of corn soup or chowder....just please don't call me late for supper...he he!
    Looks great!


  17. It certainly is hearty Nic.
    I can't believe you've just confessed to eating sweetcorn from a can. You naughty girl!
    :D Please do try it in a soup.

    Thanks Astra.
    I would have gladly accepted the warm weather from you. Its been snowing on and off here, the good thing is that its not settling, but it is nippy. The soup was really good and felt healing on the throat, tho' its hasn't cured it - it was soothing!

    Thank you so, so much Nisrine.

    Jo - This was actually the first time I've had sweetcorn in soup and it was really was delicious. It is one I'll be making again, may vary the bean though.

    Thank you so much Karen.
    I'm actually a very poor writer and my vocabulary is quite limited when it comes to describing food as you will see. I'll never be a food writer, but I do enjoy cooking and eating!
    If you do make this soup, please go easy on the chillies, esp if feeding little ones. I like my spices, but this was a tad hot.

    Thanks Ann.
    I've read the same thing about frozen veg too.
    Like you, I am getting tired of this weather. I thought it was officially spring, doesn't feel like it though.

    Hello Rose.
    Your mums 'Thai sweetcorn' soup sound good. I love the idea of Thai flavours.

  18. Thank you so much for visiting my blog--now I know where to find you and your delightful blog! LOVE the Shepherdess Pie and I can see those little lambs skipping for joy.
    Feel better!

  19. Thank you so much for your comment Alex T :D
    I live not far from Glasgow, Scotland.

    I have never heard of Hopi Indian Blue sweetcorn or the Seed company JungleSeeds, so Thank you so much for introducing me to these.

    As I no longer have an allotment, hence the space to grow sweetcorn, I am going to keep both the company and the name of the seeds in mind for my future growing projects, for when I do acquire more growing space to grow 7 foot plants :D

    Once again, Thank you to You and your green fingers and thumbs.

    Thank you so much Pam. Sweetcorn in soup is new to me and one that i have enjoyed.

  20. Thank you so, so much for repaying the compliment NoniZamboni. And thank you for honouring me by becoming a follower. Thank you. It is really lovely to make your acquaintance.

  21. Yum this soup looks and sounds very tasty maybe if the gardening gods smile on me this year and if i get off my a--- and start sowing seeds, i might be able to make it with homegrown sweetcorn.

    By the way I hope the horrible weather isn't affecting you to badly.

  22. Nice soup... i like corn based soups

  23. This looks so super beautiful! I always enjoy my visit here and checking out your fabulous recipes..! This is really lovely..yum! Gorgeous photos.
    Have a magical day!

  24. Kella.
    I sincerely hope that the Gardening gods smile on you and that you reap some of your homegrown sweetcorn.

    The weather today is not so bad. I finished work an hour early so am enjoying the sunshine right now.

  25. Looks delicious... I love sweetcorn in anything!

  26. Thank you Cooking Foodie.

    Thank you so much Kiki. Its so lovely to hear from you.

    Thanks Sanjana. Other than eating sweetcorn on the cob, I haven't really eaten sweetcorn that much, so this was really nice.

  27. This looks so tasty! I'll have to wait until the local sweet corn in Hawaii started going on sale, and make some. mmm :)

  28. Your corn soup looks and sounds delicious and comforting! I love this simple recipe, I will give it a try before it's getting too hot around here:)

  29. Elilai.
    You can make it with fresh, but for some reason the book that I adapted the recipe from stated to use frozen. Perhaps it holds well. Anyway, Hope you find some in Hawaii.

    This is good.


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