Corn & Cauliflower Chowder

In a chowder, corn is usually paired with potatoes to add creaminess and body. I use cauliflower here instead: it suits the season, as this soup is a little lighter than the potato version. It also makes use of the often wasted cauliflower leaves, which I crisp up in a pan as I would crispy kale. The basil, spring onion, green chilli and peanut topping is what makes it sing. You could use other nuts, and coriander would work in place of basil, if you like.

Serves 4


Olive oil 1 leek, trimmed and finely sliced Salt and black pepper 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced 1 pinch dried red chilli 350g cauliflower (about ½ a medium one), cut into small florets, leaves shredded 3 corn on the cob, kernels sliced off the husk (about 650g kernels) 1 x 400ml can coconut milk 1 tsp veg stock powder or ½ a cube Juice of ½ lemon

to top 1 green chilli, finely sliced 4 spring onions, sliced 1 bunch basil 1 handful roasted peanuts, roughly crushed

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks and a good pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet.

Add the garlic and dried chilli, cook for two minutes, then add the cauliflower florets, keeping the leaves for later. Add all but a handful of the corn, a good pinch of salt, the coconut milk, stock cube and one and a half tins of water, then bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. It’s ready when the cauliflower is soft throughout and the soup has thickened a little. Blend with a hand blender until it’s about half liquidised. Add a little lemon juice and a good grind of black pepper. Taste, adding more salt, pepper and lemon as needed.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add a little oil and then the remaining corn, the chopped chilli and spring onions, along with the shredded cauliflower leaves. Cook until the corn is charred and the leaves wilted to a deeper green. Serve on top of the soup with the herbs torn over and a scattering of peanuts.

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