“Sweetcorn Soup” from “Bill’s Everyday Asian”

We love a corn soup in this house. The Shoepeg Corn Soup (I’m using all capital letters to give it the respect it deserves) I make every Thanksgiving is the one of the highlights of that magnificent feast. So when I saw this recipe, I was eager to give it a try, particularly since Soup Season –autumn and winter– is nearly upon us.

First the good news: It is very easy to make. I used fresh corn, but I doubt if you used a good frozen corn you could tell the difference. Like all soups, much of the work is in the front end, in this case, getting the kernels off of the cobs. So if you used frozen corn it would be that much easier. Even Bill seems fairly relaxed about which type you use because he does say in the introduction to the recipe, “You can’t beat the earthy taste of fresh corn but I won’t tell if you cheat with the frozen or tinned kind.”

It tastes delicious. I ended up eating this mostly for lunch. When I added freshly chopped spring onions, it was a delight. I went off piste and added some roasted cashews as a garnish, and that made it even better. It would appear from the photo that Bill himself put in either fresh coriander or parsley to perk it up, but the recipe didn’t call for that.

So it’s easy and delicious. If I said there was good news, there must be bad news to go with it. They are, after all, the ying and yang of trite sayings. So what’s the bad news? Well, I hate to tell you this dear reader, but without the lovely garnishes on top, it looks absolutely gross. Unfortunately it looks like a big bowl of sick.

The recipe calls for you to puree half of the soup. I think I removed even less than that, maybe a third, but still it looked awful. This is the reason why it was never served to the boys. While it would have provided a great deal of entertaining dialogue for our Cookbook a Month readers, I don’t think I could have handled the outcry. So it was left to the adults, who are able occasionally to look past the superficial and see the true beauty inside, to eat this. And we liked it. We just kept our eyes shut while we ate it, or added a lot of garnish (see above).

I’m going to give this soup another try. This time I might skip the puree step altogether to see what happens. If nothing else, I won’t have to eat my lunch blindfolded.

“Sweetcorn Soup” from “Bill’s Everyday Asian”

A vegetarian feast of four mushes from “Plenty”

Anna: Tonight I was having my Ogilvy ladees round for dinner, and what a happy coincidence that we’re doing the Ottolenghi book this month as Tiff and Kate D are veggie!

Kate W: I’m not.

Anna: No, but you’ll have to pretend you are for tonight.  There are only enough sausages for Peter.  Anyway, choosing a menu was actually quite hard once I got down to it, but I settled on “Hummus with ful” (or ‘you crazy fool’ as it became known over the evening) and “Sweetcorn polenta”.  I chose the hummus for two reasons: because it would be nice to eat slowly while drinking and chatting, and because I’d been introduced to ful in the last year by a work colleague and I loved it.  Plus, Tiff has lived in the Middle East so I figured she could give an honest opinion.

Tiff: I will.

Anna: The polenta was a bit of a random choice.  Not something I would ever go for in a million years, but in for a penny as they say.  It wasn’t until I started cooking that I realised that this was going to be a meal of four mushes.  Four slightly different coloured mushes.

Kate D: We’re in the mood for mush! Continue reading “A vegetarian feast of four mushes from “Plenty””

A vegetarian feast of four mushes from “Plenty”