Summer Soups

Mexican sweetcorn soup with chipotle


This Mexican sweetcorn soup with chipotle is simple yet full of flavour; sweet, spicy and herby all at once.  A dollop of something cooling like crème fraîche or soured cream offsets the heat of the chilli and adds to the creaminess.  A sweetcorn soup is one of the few soups that really benefits from being blended – a stick blender does the trick perfectly, squeezing all the sweet flavour out of the corn kernels.

Serves 2.

This recipe is taken from my first cookbookIn One Pot: Fresh Recipes for Every Occasion, W&N, 2013.

Photo courtesy of Simon Wheeler.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely choppped
  • 800g sweetcorn, either cut from 4 cobs or frozen, plus a few spoonfuls of whole kernels reserved (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 20g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 600ml water
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche or soured cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Choose a fairly small heavy-based saucepan with a lid.  (it’s easier to fry small amounts of onion in a smaller pan; they burn quickly in a bigger pan)
  • Add the oil to the pan and place over a low heat.  Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until it is soft, sweet and slightly coloured.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes, then add the sweetcorn.  Cover and cook for a further five minutes or until it starts to smell nutty and sweet.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the chipotle paste, most of the coriander and the water.  Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.  Then blend well.  Push as much of the mixture as you can through the sieve (I find that the back of a ladle helps with this).  Not all of it will go through the sieve, but these are the rough, husky parts that you don’t want to eat anyway.  If you like a little texture put in the reserved whole kernels now.
  • Taste for seasoning and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or soured cream on top, sprinkled with the rest of the coriander.


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