Sweetcorn Chowder

Cold hands, warm heart…

Ah, can you feel it?  The nights are drawing in, no more bright sunny summer mornings.  Nah, Autumn is coming, she’s just around the corner.  Sometimes I’m fooled into thinking that it’s still late summer.  Sometimes, it’s so bright and crisp in the afternoon that I dare to venture out without a coat or jacket.  Pretty soon after though I realise the naïve error of my ways.  But there is an advantage to the shorter days and lower temps.  Comfort Food Central.  The one thing that autumn is good for is piling on that good fat that we struggled to lose for our summer beach bodies (well, some of you at least. Personally I didn’t bother!).  All those scrummy winter veggies, casseroles, stews and bakes.  It makes me hungry just thinking about it!

I figure there are two types of lunch people, those who do and those who don’t.  I am definitely a lunch doer.  Sadly though, time does not always permit and I end up part of the desk-bound lunch squad eating sarnies and supping soups whilst trying to check off my burgeoning to do list.  One of the perks of home office working is that I get to make my lunch from the comfort of my own kitchen, rather than schlepping to Boots or Marks’.  Thus, today I treated myself to a smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese and some soup.  But not just any old soup, nope.

When I started working from home, I would buy packets of chicken noodle soup like one who had no self-respect.  I then upped my lunch time game by insisting on buying only fresh soup (Waitrose no less, or Covent Garden don’t you know!).  But I always bought my soups because honestly, who has time for roasting their own veg and chucking it all in a blender?  But when flicking through Delicious magazine online, I was tempted by one sexy little word.  Say it with me. Chow-der!

Chowder ain’t no ordinary soup, it’s special.  To me it implies something chunky and filling, decadence in a bowl.  This sweetcorn chowder certainly lives up to that promise.  And it is dirt easy to make to boot, bonus!  Give yourself an autumn hug and cook this yummy chowder for your next midday meal.  Good news is that it keeps for a few days so that you can enjoy it for the rest of the week without the effort, #winning!  Eat on its own, with some tasty bread or serve as a hearty winter starter at your next dinner party.

Sweetcorn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, finely sliced

1 celery stick, chopped

¼ tsp chilli flakes (or more, if you’re brave like me, grr!)

300g frozen sweetcorn

800ml vegetable stock, hot

400ml full fat coconut milk (but light works well here too)

1 rounded tsp smoked paprika

2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, handful fresh coriander leaves and 1 lime, quartered, to garnish

METHOD

In a large pan with a lid, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, then add the red pepper, celery and chilli flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften slightly.

Add the sweetcorn, vegetable stock and coconut milk, then increase the heat to high. Stir in the smoked paprika, then partially cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Remove from the heat and season with sea salt. Ladle half the soup into a blender and whizz until smooth. Pour the smooth half back into the unblended soup and mix to combine. Serve hot, scattered with the spring onions, coriander and a wedge of lime to garnish.

Recipe from Katy Beskow’s book 15 Minute Vegan (£10.50, Amazon).