A delicious, nutritious and comforting soup that is easy to prepare and tastes as good as many restaurant versions.
This thrifty soup is packed full of flavour and, crucially for me, avoids the gelatinous texture that a lot of chicken and sweetcorn soups have.
For me, this soup is ideal made with delicious and inexpensive chicken thighs, cooking them on the bone for maximum flavour: once cooked, the chicken meat then pulls away from the bone effortlessly.
However, you can also make this soup using the pickings from a roast chicken, adding the broken up carcus to the pot to maximise flavour.
Recipe: chicken and sweetcorn soup – serves 4
- 2 chicken thighs, ideally bones in but skin removed
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2″ piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- about 5 tablespoons sweetcorn (fresh kernels, frozen or from a tin)
- 1-2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
- about 800ml water
- a couple of spring onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, plus a little extra to serve
(1) Pop the sweetcorn kernels into a large saucepan pan (without any oil) and place over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time: this gets the sweetcorn lightly toasted, adding so much to the flavour of the soup.
(2) Add the vegetable oil to the sweetcorn along with the onion, ginger and garlic, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onion has started to soften.
(3) Add the sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce and stir this through.
(4) Add the water and the chicken thighs and bring to a simmer. Let it all simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
(5) Remove the chicken carefully to a plate and leave it until it is cool enough to handle, at which point peel the meat off the bone and either dice or shred the chicken meat. While the chicken is cooling, let the broth continue to simmer to reduce – I normally let it continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, which will enhance the flavour nicely as some of the water evaporates: the trick here is to taste the broth and see if you prefer it light (a gentle flavour) or more intensely flavoured (in which case reduce it further).
(6) Add the chicken back to what is now a delicious broth and let it simmer gently for another 5 minutes.
(7) Serve in bowl with a scattering of spring onions and a few drops of sesame oil.