At this time of year you can buy plump sweetcorn cobs for next to nothing. This refreshing soup freezes well and, if the weather is very hot, you can serve it chilled with extra lime wedges.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 onions, roughly diced
- 2 stems celery, roughly diced
- ½ fennel, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, roughly diced
- 1 Thai chilli, or to taste, finely diced
- 1 bunch coriander, washed
- 18 sweetcorn cobs
- 1 litre good chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200g crème fraiche
- Juice of 1 lime
- Crusty bread
- Set a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the onions, celery, fennel, garlic and chilli. Gently fry for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.
- Meanwhile, strip the coriander leaves from their stems and reserve for garnish. Roughly chop the stems and stir into the softened vegetables. Strip the leaves and hairs from the sweetcorn. Slice off the kernels of 16 cobs and mix into the softened vegetables. Set aside the kernels from the remaining 2 cobs.
- Fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are meltingly soft. It looks too much, but you'll lose a lot of bulk when you strain the liquidised soup.
- Liquidise the soup and strain into a clean pan. Add the remaining corn kernels and season to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender. Mix in half the crème fraiche. You can chill or freeze the soup at this stage.
- When you're ready to serve, reheat gently. Add the lime juice, adjust the seasoning to taste and divide between 6 bowls. Garnish with the remaining crème fraiche and a scattering of chopped coriander leaves.
To drink: Gewurztraminer is a perfect match for the sweetness of the corn, the heat of the chilli and the tang of the lime, while New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a good second choice:Alsace Gewurztraminer, Cave de Turckheim 2009, £7.99-£8.99, , , . Wine details correct at original magazine publication date.
From the August 2011 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Sybil Kapoor; photograph by Laura Edwards; food preparation and styling by Bridget Sargeson; table styling by Alexander Breeze; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon.
See more from our soup recipes collection