Hearty corn soup is popular in many parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados … this is my take on the Bajan (Barbadian) version inspired by one Paul Carmichael told me about; I enjoy the three different textures of corn. Bajan corn soup often contains pumpkin or sweet potato, which I find a little too sweet with the already deliciously sweet corn, so I’ve swapped it out for potatoes … but feel free to experiment to suit your taste. Like all good soups, it’s even better the next day; add a little water if it’s become too thick.
Serves 8 as an entrée
- 4 cobs corn, husked
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 small habanero, seeded and very finely diced
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaved picked
- Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup yellow split peas
- 400g floury potatoes, peeled and diced
- 270ml coconut milk
- 1 litre chicken stock or water
- ¼ cup finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves and fine stems
- 1½ tablespoons sliced coriander leaves
- 1½ tablespoons finely sliced chives
- Cut 1 cob of corn into chunks (a cleaver is best for this). Remove the kernels from the remainder and puree half of them. Set all aside separately.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan.
- Stir in onion, garlic, carrot, celery, habanero, thyme and a good pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until starting to colour.
- Add the split peas, potato, coconut milk, chicken stock, chopped corn, corn kernels, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the pureed corn and simmer for a further 12 minutes or so, until corn is just tender.
- Stir in parsley, coriander and chives and cook for a further couple of minutes.
- Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed and serve.