kook & wijn

Sweetcorn soup with coconut and smoked chicken

It seems like the Cape winter is early this year. Traditionally it starts raining during Easter weekend or just after. Easter was early this year, so is the rain! Hopefully (and probably) summer will return a little over the next couple of days/week(s), but for now it is cold and windy and wet and miserable. Brrr! I am so not ready for winter, but for the winter food I am always ready! I can daydream about soups, stews, oven dishes, vegetable mash, Brussels sprouts, casseroles, risottos, good Sunday Roast’s with potatoes and homemade gravy. Yum!

Today to kick off the winter season I share this delicious Mexican style corn soup with you. Perfect for lunch and dinner.

Ingredients (for 4 people) 
2 small or 1 big onion
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 red chilli pepper(s)
2-3 bell peppers (paprikas), red or yellow, in cubes
400 gram drained (in brine tinned) sweetcorn, divided
400 ml coconut milk
300 gram smoked chicken, in strips
2 hands full of fresh coriander leaves (garnishing)
2 tablespoons of sliced spring onion (garnishing)
700 ml water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 teaspoons turmeric (kurkuma)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika powder
lump of butter or dash of olive oil
black pepper

1. Bring water to boil and prepare your stock.
2. Roughly chop your onion, garlic, chilli and paprikas. Doesn’t have to be very finely as you’ll purée the soup later. Drain the sweetcorn and divide in 3/4 and 1/4.
3. Take a big pot to the fire and melt some butter or olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Then add the paprika cubes, chilli peppers, garlic and stir. Sauté for another few minutes and then add 3/4 of the sweetcorn. Also add all the dry seasoning (curry powder, turmeric, paprika powder) and sauté for a few more minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk, bring to boil. Leave on fire over low simmer for about 10-12 minutes.
5. Purée the soup until entirely smooth and ingredients combined. Taste and add if necessary some fresh black pepper, or (if it’s not spicy enough to your personal taste) some cayenne (or chilli) powder. Salt probably isn’t necessary as stock is usually quite salty already.
6. Time to serve! Grill or fry the left over sweetcorn shortly in oven or in a pan. If you are lazy forget about this step and just add them as they are. Clean the coriander and peel off the leaves, prepare the spring onion and slice the smoked chicken in strips.
7. Serve the soup in big bowls or cups, and finish by adding the sweetcorn, coriander and smoked chicken strips.

Quesadillas & more (optional):
– serve with quesadillas (see photo), which are super easy to make; take a tortilla, fill with grated (Cheddar)cheese, spring onion, tomato (thinly sliced) and paprika powder. Put a second tortilla on top and fry in a frying pan with a bit butter or oil until both sides golden brown and the cheese melted. Slice in four quarters and serve together with the soup
– add some ripe avocado seasoned with sea salt and cayenne pepper on the side, or make guacamole
– change smoked chicken strips into Chorizo cubes (shortly fried & then drained on kitchen paper)
– keep it vegetarian and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock
– add some crumbled feta cheese in the end, as vegetarian garnishing
– keep a small amount red, yellow or green pepper cubes separate (together with part of the sweetcorn), and add in the end for a bit more ‘bite’ and colour in the soup

 Bon Appétit! Corn Soup With Quesadillas and Avocado - Mexican food with Chilli and Garlic

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