Years ago I remember trying a sweetcorn chowder and it being extremely unpleasant and feeling quite ill afterwards. I have shied away from sweetcorn chowder ever since – until now! I wanted to try this soup simply because of one word – VEGAN!
Yes Robert and I are opting for plant based, vegan options regularly. We still eat a little dairy, fish, meat, but now I think we are eating 90% vegan meals. That is a huge change for us, and we are happier and feeling healthier for it. Why are we doing it? Mainly for the sake of the planet. But in the process, we are discovering so much delicious food, this has been a very enjoyable transition in our diet.
This recipe was in a recent edition of the Waitrose magazine and was attracted to their picture of a very yellow looking soup. Mine was more of a yellow ochre – but colour aside, it was a triumph. It has totally restored my appreciation of a sweetcorn chowder. I think it is the Urfa chilli paste that is the magical ingredient in this spectacular soup.
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 4 cobs sweetcorn
• 1 large floury potato (about 250g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
• 700ml hot vegetable stock
• 250ml Oatly! Creamy Oat
• 1 tbsp Belazu Urfa Chilli Paste (or 1-2 tsp chilli flakes), plus extra to serve (optional)
• 1⁄4 x 25g pack chives, snipped
• Crusty bread, to serve
In a large, lidded pan, heat the oil over a medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt and cook for five minutes, until soft, stirring regularly. Stir in the garlic and cook for another thirty seconds.
Meanwhile, slice off the kernels from each sweetcorn cob. Add the kernels to the pan, along with the diced potato and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat. Cover with the lid and simmer for up to fifteen minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Then add most of the creamy oat and all of the Urfa chilli paste. Use a blender to whizz until smooth. Depending on your blender, you may need to allow the mixture to cool a little more before blending. Season to taste (I admit I did not add any extra seasoning because the Urfa chilli was so incredibly flavoursome.)
Ladle the chowder into bowls and swirl in the remaining creamy oat plus more chilli paste. Top with the chives and serve with crusty bread. This chowder is quite filling, so if you are not hungry – just skip the bread.
The Urfa chilli paste was sensational. I had never tried it before, but what a fantastic flavour. It added so much to this soup, and if you can get hold of it, or something similar, I highly recommend it to bring a fascinating kick of spice to dishes during the colder months ahead.