Last month I discovered a lovely corn soup recipe on 101 Cookbooks, and made it earlier this week for the second time; however this time I added quite a few tweaks to make it slightly reminiscent of Chinese sweetcorn soup, a dish I enjoyed as a child.
For this soup, you will need the following:
6 cups good quality vegetable stock
3 ears of corn
3-4 small potatoes (I used nicola), diced quite small
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of coriander, including stalks
small bunch tuscan kale (about 10 leaves), stalks removed and chopped thin
1 knob of fresh ginger
4 tbsps soy sauce, plus extra to taste
2 tbsps cayenne pepper, plus extra to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Place cobs and stock in a large saucepan, along with cilantro stalks, a .5 x .5 inch chunk of ginger (cut into four pieces), 3 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, plenty of black pepper and a large pinch of cayenne. Put this on a low-medium simmer for thirty minutes, while the rest of the soup gets prepped. Taste intermittently and feel free to add more soy, sesame oil and cayenne as desired.
Next, dice up the potatoes, about the same size as the corn kernels. Chop up the onion and garlic as well. Cut stalks off of kale, and chop thinly.
After thirty minutes, remove corn cobs, cilantro stalks and ginger pieces from the stock, using a sieve. You will be left with a rich, caramel coloured stock- taste once more and add more soy or sesame oil if needed, although I didn’t find it necessary at this step. Keep stock on a low simmer.
Saute potatoes in EVOO for about five minutes, and then add the onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent.
Next add the kale to the potato mix, and saute for another minute or two, until potato is cooked through.
Add potato and kale mixture to the stock, along with the reserved corn kernels. Simmer this for three minutes, and grate about two tbsps of ginger into soup. I added one more tsp of sesame oil, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and another generous pinch of cayenne at this point. Also throw in a large bunch of chopped cilantro and stir.
Ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately. The rich broth is balanced perfectly by the fresh pops of corn, and the barely cooked kale adds a nice texture, while the potato bulks the soup up. If you like a creamier soup, blend half the soup until smooth and then add back to the pot and stir before serving; however I really enjoyed the thin broth coupled with the firm veggies. This simple soup is quite cheap to make, and packed with flavour- it is definitely going to become a regular in my repertoire!
Sweetcorn Soup with Kale & Ginger