Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lots of rain = lots of soup

So here I am talking about soup again but when you are stuck in such a rainy city as Galway it's the best thing to have when you get home all wet and cold. Currently it is raining a really misty drizzly sort of rain and it's been like this for days, since the weekend. It's not real rain, but it doesn't stop. Not only that but Galway is windy so my umbrella was one of the many to join the umbrella graveyard around the trash bin at the university entrance (it spread to the general vicinity of the bin because the bin had already filled up with broken umbrellas). Luckily I didn't buy that umbrella but found it hanging off of the banister outside my apartment, and I only took it after it had been there for days so I know that nobody was going to claim it. They can't now anyway, it's broken. And even luckier for me, I found another umbrella just yesterday, a nice one with pink flowers. Hopefully it will stand up to the wind. But even with an umbrella keep a part of you dry by the time you have gotten home from work (even when it is only a 10 minute walk) your pant legs are wet and your shoes have leaked water so soup is really necessary.
This week's pot of soup is my attempt at chicken and corn, but it didn't turn out quite like the stuff you get from your local Chinese takeout. Luckily for me my housemate has only had Chinese takeout once or twice in her life so she didn't know the difference. It was still chicken and corn soup. Only I was looking at recipes and saw some that used soy sauce so I thought I would give it a try. Which is why there is no picture today, because instead of being a lovely yellow corn colour my soup became a murky brown. I will not bother with soy sauce again, it didn't add anything to the flavour and more salt was needed anyway. So below you will find the improved version, it's really simple but if you want more flavours go ahead. I also left out suggestions to add cornflour, it was thick enough without it, and most recipes want you to whisk and egg or two in but I tried this once and it didn't really work the way I wanted it too. But if I try it in the future and it works I will amend the recipe! I will try this again soon because the weather is only going to get worse and hopefully the next batch will be more photogenic and I will be able to hold off eating it for long enough to take a nice picture. To try and tempt people into trying my recipes.

Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

400 grams chicken (cooked or not, either is fine, so whatever you have on hand)
750 grams frozen sweet corn
1 chopped onion
1 litre chicken stock (I used 4 chicken oxo cubes in 1 litre of water)
Salt to season

Soup is so simple to make that it's really not necessary to buy cans and packets, although they are so fast. I grew up with packet soups so I will never be one to completely turn my nose up at them, but they are really more for a snack and not a meal. I do use stock powder instead of making my own because I really don't have all day, nor a family to cook large meals for that result in leftover bones and carcasses. I had a housemate once who tried to tell me that his mum always made her own stock. Well, good for her but there's nothing wrong with the brought variety, and it's always got more flavour than my home-made stuff anyway. I haven't added any carbs to this soup so if you do want a full meal you could use some small pasta or rice, but as it is I had it with some yummy wholegrain bread and it was a good enough dinner for me.

The making of it is really easy. You begin by putting everything into a large pot, except the salt, do that last. If the chicken is cooked shred it up and if not, throw it in raw and boil the soup until it is done. Then take out the chicken, let it cool, shred it up and return it to the pot. This soup should be sort of chunky but not entirely so I used my stick blender to half blend it, or pour half into a food processor and then when it is smooth-ish return it to the pot. At which point you season with salt, and pepper if you like, and your soup is ready! How simple is that?

So this evening I will again trudge home in the rain and finish off my evening in front of the tele with a bowl of soup (and my knitting, which I can admit to happily because knitting and stuff is the cool thing to do these days, it's so back in fashion). In a couple of weeks I will try this again and hopefully get a prettier soup, after which I will add a photo. Finally, I will as always hope that somebody out there would like to follow (or at least take a lead from) one of my recipes and maybe let me know about it because it would be nice to know that I have an audience. Now my lunch break is well and truly over so back to work!

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