Soups are always a welcome treat, no matter what season it is.
A rich hearty vegetable soup can fill you up for a few hours, without adding too many calories.
Sangita Agrawal's Roasted Sweet Corn Capsicum Soup is satisfying and simple to make.
The fresh sweet corn is roasted to bring out a slight smoky flavour.
Serve it with garlic bread for a comforting supper or lunch.
The addition of bacon or chicken stock may make it even more satisfying for many.
Roasted Corn Capsicum Soup
- 2 sweet corn cobs
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- ¼ cup mixed fresh herbs including basil, celery and parsley
- 3 cups vegetable broth (please see the note below)
- ¼ tsp pepper white or black powder
- Pinch smoked paprika
- Pinch jeera or cumin powder, optional
- ½ cup fresh or canned coconut milk + a little to drizzle at the end
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Squeeze half of a lemon
- Salt to taste
- Roast the corn in the oven or grill or over the gas flame.
Once it cools, cut off the kernels with a knife.
Transfer half the roasted corn kernels into a blender and blend into a coarse puree.
- Roast the red capsicum in the oven or grill or over the gas flame for 5-10 minutes.
Wrap in a moist kitchen towel for 5 minutes.
Using a knife remove the charred skin.
Chop the capsicum and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic, onions and saute till translucent.
Add the corn kernels, capsicum, pureed corn.
Now pour in the vegetable stock.
Boil till the vegetables are cooked.
Add salt, pepper, paprika, cumin.
Pour in the coconut milk.
Add the herbs and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Take off heat.
Add the lemon juice, drizzle a little coconut milk and garnish with a lemon wedge just before serving.
Note: Meat lovers may replace the vegetable broth with chicken broth (see below) and/or add 250 gm shredded boiled chicken while making the soup or 3-4 slices chopped bacon while cooking the vegetables.
For a more Indian accent, add a litle chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro and 2-3 pinches curry powder towards the end of the cooking.
Liquid broth is available in some gourmet food stores. Or substitute the vegetable broth by combining 1½ vegetable soup cube or 1½ vegetable broth/bouillon cube or 1½ tsp vegetable broth/bouillon powder with 3 cups boiling water.
Or substitute the vegetable broth by combining 1½ chicken soup cube or 1½ chicken broth/bouillon cube or 1½ tsp chicken broth/bouillon powder with 3 cups boiling water.
Or make vegetable broth from scratch by boiling 4-5 cups water with 1-2 large roughly chopped carrots, 3 stalks roughly chopped celery with leaves, 2 medium onions chopped in chunks, 5-6 whole black peppercorns, 2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp chopped parsley with stems, 2 laung or cloves, 5 pods garlic, 2 tej patta or bay leaves till vegetables are tender and the water is steeped with the flavour of the vegetables and spices.
Strain and use 3 cups for the recipe.
For a Jain version of this soup, omit the onions and garlic and use a cup of chopped spring onion greens and add several pinches of hing or asafoetida or hing while cooking the vegetables.
Sangita Agrawal lives in Mumbai and publishes the food blog Bliss of Cooking.