In praise of sweetcorn

Vegetable recipe of the week: chicken and sweetcorn soup

This week’s vegetable from In Praise of Veg was sweetcorn, and you know what that means! Sweetcorn Soup (page 119). And taking inspiration from last time I cooked soup (or something), I also made the Fool-Proof Corn Fritters (page 116) as a side dish.

I’m detecting a theme here. Last week I went for a recipe for “cheats” and this week “fool-proof”. Both appropriately targeted.

Alice says that once you get the hang of the fritters, you’ll be making them all the time and adding your own combinations beyond the base in the recipe. Extra veggies, spices, you name it, you can probably add it. She says they are also great for breakfast or for lunchbox additions.

And if you really felt like cheating, you could use the pre-mix pancake batter from the supermarket rather than making your own batter.

I have limits though. (This from the person who was excited at using Deb instant potato last week . . . )

These fritters really are very easy and yummy. Think pikelets with corn and you get the idea.

Corn fritters from the book In Praise of Veg resting on a wire rack
Corn fritters

Now onto the soup. I have memories of ordering chicken and sweet corn soup at the local small town Chinese restaurant when I was a kid. Back in those days, this was pretty exotic. I don’t think I’d ever tried to make it before though, so this was a first for me.

Interestingly, Alice adds the corn cobs to the soup which, she says, adds a “sweet umami flavour with no added cost”. What a perfect use of a part of the vegetable you’d normally toss out.

This is another simple recipe. The trickiest part is cutting the kernels off the corn cobs. I didn’t realise how messy a process that is. Or maybe I was doing it wrong. The recipe has chicken as an option. I just threw in a couple of chicken breast fillets to cook with the soup (about 45 minutes), took them out when they were done, roughly shredded them and put them back.

The only thing I didn’t do was add egg white, mainly because I couldn’t think of what to do with two yolks and I didn’t want to waste them. It’s not egg season at the moment so most of the chickens aren’t laying or are doing it very sporadically, so the egg supply is somewhat depleted. (In hindsight, the answer probably should have been to chuck them into the fritter batter. I’m sure that would have been fine.)

My substitute was egg noodles (only egg white used, proclaims the packet). However, I’m not sure from a planetary perspective that was a great solution either given the amount of plastic in that packaging, not to mention what they might have done with the yolks. And what the “protein added” might have actually been.

A packet of egg noodles
Egg noodles as substitute for egg white. I’m not convinced.

Hmmm. Do better next time.

Sweetcorn, chicken and egg noodle soup, garnished with spring onions from the book In Praise of Veg
The finished soup, complete with steam.

And there will be a next time. It was good.

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