When the woman with her own food website runs out of basics – I’m not going to embarrass myself by listing them 😉 – it’s time to make the mighty trek to the supermarket. Being a damp old day towards the end of the summer holidays meant that it was over-run with harassed parents/grandparents, and kids picking out new lunchboxes for the return to school. There was a very nice Harry Potter one that I fancied for myself, but I left it for a more worthy owner. 😉
Still, I navigated it all successfully and arrived home with most of what I needed. The problem was that there was so much ‘stuff’ hanging about the fridge that I had to do a massive clear-out before I could fit the new stuff in.
Here’s what I found: a bit of cold chicken left over from Sunday, 2 cooked potatoes (grown organically by our friends from St George’s Market), a single cob of corn, half a bag of unshelled peas, a small red chilli (I found that in the fruit bowl after I took the picture!) and the tatty remains of a pot of Coriander on the window sill.
To my mind, when the words ‘chicken’ and ‘sweetcorn’ come together in a sentence, they should always be immediately followed by the word ‘Soup’. I’ve never been able to master the Asian version which I loved so much in my youth, but I was certainly going to give my next favourite – ‘Chowder’- a go. And this is literally made from the leftovers in my fridge, plus a few ‘basics’ which I’d picked up during the Big Shop (I’m talking about stock cubes, milk etc)
- A large saucepan
- a high-sided measuring jug
- a wooden spoon
- A hand or other blender
INGREDIENTS: My pot looks like it would yield about 4 really decent portions
- 100g cooked, shredded chicken (I had 85g today, but I’m just rounding it up)
- 2 med-large cold potatoes – diced
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- a handful of uncooked peas (see NOTES)
- half a chili – sliced.
- 1 cob of uncooked sweetcorn – kernel removed (see NOTES)
- Handful of fresh Coriander, stems finely chopped; leaves roughly chopped
- 500mls hot chicken stock
- tablespoon of oil
- 100mls cold milk
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the onion, sweetcorn, garlic, chilli, Coriander stems and peas.
- Immediately add 400mls of the chicken stock
- Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the onions are tender and the peas and corn are cooked.
- Add the chicken and potato, and stir in. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
- Add the milk.
- Now put a quarter of the soup into a high-sided jug, making sure that you have a mixture of about 2/3rds potato, etc to 1/3 liquid.
- Blitz the soup in the jug until it’s completely blended, then return it to the pot. If the soup looks too thick, just add some of the last 100mls of stock until you’re happy with the consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- add half the coriander leaves, stir in.
- Serve with crusty Sourdough bread, and a garnish of the last of the coriander leaves on top.
- I don’t always have a cob of corn and unshelled peas in my fridge, so I’d suggest a medium sized tin of drained sweetcorn, and a handful of frozen peas, added at the last minute – they’ll take no time to cook.
- This is a chunky soup, which would almost serve as a meal, certainly a lunch.
- Blitzing 1/4 of the soup makes it much creamier, without having to add cream.
- I usually steam my new potatoes in their jackets, and I didn’t bother peeling my leftovers today and they were absolutely fine.
- I don’t always have fresh coriander on my windowsill either – so a teaspoon of ground Coriander would add some delicious flavour.
- To change the tastes around a little, try toasting the corn under the grill, until it’s browned on all sides, then cut it off the cob as use as before, holding back a few kernels to act as a garnish.