I got the idea for this soup when I was making the Italian classic pasta e ceci one evening, although the only thing they really have in common is a pureed consistency and chick peas. Rather than thicken the liquid with the beans though I used fresh corn I bought in the market. The good thing about the ears is that once you’ve shucked the kernels off you can make a stock with the left over cobs.
To complement the sweetcorn, I wanted to introduce a nice smoky flavour (like the amazing elote in 777) so I used chipotle chillies and an aubergine that had been burnt over a gas stove. To balance what could be a cloying dish there’s a tart yoghurt garnish, the acidity ramped up with the juice of a lime and also its zest for an extra bit of freshness.
For the lime yoghurt
100g Greek style yoghurt
1 small lime, zest and juice
For the soup
2 ears of corn, shucked with kernels and cobs reserved
60g shallots, diced
30g carrots, diced
30g celery, diced
1 medium aubergine
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large chipotle chilli
250g chick peas, cooked
- For the lime yoghurt, mix the yoghurt, lime zest and juice together thoroughly.
- Season to taste and then reserve in the fridge.
- For the soup, chop the corn cobs roughly and, along with the shallots, carrots and peppercorns, add to a pot filled with 500ml of water.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for half an hour.
- Strain the solids out with a sieve and reserve the liquid.
- Char the aubergine on the largest ring of a gas stove over a medium heat, turning occasionally with tongs, for 10-15 minutes until it collapses.
- Wrap in Clingfilm and leave to cool and then scoop out the flesh. Reserve.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan over a medium heat and then add the corn and garlic.
- Sauté for around 10 minutes and then add the corn cob stock, aubergine flesh and chipotle.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and puree until very smooth.
- Pour the liquid back into the pot and add some more water if the soup is too thick.
- Add the chick peas and simmer for a few minutes until warmed through.
- Divide between two plates and serve with a dollop of the yoghurt.