Jamaican corn soup

It’s the end of the summer and the corn is going cheap. I bought four cobs for a quid in Peckham yesterday and a frankly quite staggering twelve red peppers for the same. Twelve. Not joking.

This soup only uses one you’ll be pleased to know, along with two cobs and some classic Caribbean flavours: thyme, scotch bonnet chilli and coconut. It’s a hearty mix, thickened with yellow split peas and potato but my version is light compared with other recipes which use pumpkin or squash and other vegetables. I prefer a fresher version which keeps the focus on the juicy bursts of corn. I strip one cob and slice the other so I’m not denied the pleasure of gnawing on it.

The scotch bonnet chilli is left whole and slit lengthways to release just moderate fruity heat and the creamy coconut milk smooths things over. It tastes tropical and most importantly, it celebrates the corn. At that price, it would be rude not to.

Jamaican Corn Soup

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 scotch bonnet chilli
150g yellow split peas
1 litre stock (I used vegetable)
400ml tin of coconut milk
2 sprigs of thyme
2 cobs corn
1 red pepper, diced
1 large potato, diced

Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or groundnut oil in a pan and add the onion. Let it sweat over a lowish heat for about 8 minutes then add the garlic for a couple of minutes more, taking care not to let it burn. Make a cut down the length of the chilli, but keep it intact and add it to the pan with the split peas, thyme and stock – simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare the corn by shaving the kernels from one of the cobs, running your knife down the sides, top to bottom. Slice the other one into 2cm thick slices (I nicked that idea from this recipe recently. I also nicked their presentation). Add the corn, coconut milk and potato and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the red pepper for the final 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Allow the soup to cool a little then remove the chilli, thyme and corn slices (reserve the corn slices) and blend half the soup. If it is still quite hot then make sure not to fill the blender more than half way and hold the lid down because if you don’t you will end up with soup all over your kitchen. It will blast the lid off the blender. Return to the pan and add back the corn slices. Reheat if necessary, adjust the seasoning and serve.

Category: Caribbean Food, Food From The Rye, Gluten-free, Soups, Starters, Vegetables | Tags: , , 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Jamaican corn soup”

  1. Anne

    This sounds, and looks, delicious. Think I might make it to take to work this week – think I’ll need heating up, its getting chilly out!

  2. nina

    Love the siplicity of this dish and the whole rings or corn is so beautiful in that rustic soup!

  3. shayma

    oh. my. god. first, Lizzie, and now you- the luscious corn porn- i love it. beautiful flavours, i can just taste this. x shayma

  4. Anh

    Just wonderful!! I love this recipe already! Can’t wait to try.

  5. The Shed

    Tonight’s dinner now sorted: perfect post-long-boozy-weekend nourishment.

  6. Kerri

    Great idea, I like that you left some whole pieces of corn in there too.

    I have that exact tea-towel, if I get round to cooking this then maybe I’ll try to recreate your picture :)

  7. KSalty

    An excellently thrify and warming soup? It must be the end of summer! Roll on the autumn cooking, made my first crumble of ’10 yesterday…
    x

  8. Gourmet Chick

    Good to see you managed to incorporate your favourite scotch bonnets into even a soup Helen -very impressive!

  9. Lizzie

    it looks lovely. I have a huge addiction to corn at the moment, though I doubt I have a knife sharp enough to slice them like you have. Guaranteed some bashing and spraying of the kitchen in corn viscera…

  10. Jonathan

    Sounds delicious. Well done Peckham market. And love the expression “corn porn”!

  11. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    Sounds great corn and coconut sound like a good combination!

  12. Helen

    I made a batch of this the other night. I think I’m in love.

  13. Tv Food and Drink

    Yummy. I love anything with a scotch bonnet. That says true Jamaica to me. Thanks for the recipe! – Gary

  14. Andrew Copley

    I made this last night; it was very nice; the background scotch bonnet flavour was just right and the texture was bang-on.

    I’m cooking a West Indian feast for 8 on Saturday (using your recipes):

    Salt Fish Fritters

    Oxtail and Guiness Stew
    Jerk Chicken on the Weber BBQ (a guaranteed winner)
    Rice n Peas

    I’ll let you know how it goes. I love the fact that you also have a passion for West Indian food. When it’s done well it is, for me the ultimate comfort food.


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