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Image / Editorial

Healthy Winter Warmer: Lemongrass & Sweetcorn Soup


by Meg Walker
18th Jan 2018

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One Friday lunchtime at Delfina’s we were extremely busy and, although it was a summer’s day, there was an unexpected run on the soup! I knew there wouldn’t be enough for the evening and there were no ingredients left to make more. Faced with such situations, I usually go to the walk-in fridge and look for possible ingredient combinations. On this particular occasion, my eye fell upon sweetcorn and lemongrass. I was saved and this soup was born! Fresh, seasonal corn is best for this, but you can always use frozen or tinned if none is available. Cauliflower and lemongrass is also a wonderful combination – simply cut a small cauliflower into florets and follow the recipe as below. Then try roasting some thinly sliced florets in a hot oven and adding to the remaining relish ingredients.

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 corn cobs
50g butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
25g plain flour
1.5 litres milk
5 sticks lemongrass, finely chopped
salt and pepper
4 tbsp crème fraîche

Method
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the corn kernels from the cob. Set cobs and kernels aside.

Gently heat the butter. Add the onion, ginger and chilli and sauté until softened but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, lemongrass, corn and the cobs and stir, bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Discard the corn cobs and blend the soup in a food-processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve and season. Serve with a swirl of crème fraîche and Sweetcorn Relish (see below).

Sweetcorn Relish

Ingredients
1 corn on the cob, leaves removed
5 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
10g chopped coriander
1 stick lemongrass, finely chopped

Method
Roll the sweetcorn in a little of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook on a preheated griddle pan or barbecue until tender. When cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels from the cob, place in a bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Extracted from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia (Kyle Books, approx €19). Photography by Jonathan Gregson.