Culinary Director for Marley Spoon, Olivia Andrews, decided to write a cookbook called Three Veg and Meat, adding more vegetables to traditional Aussie staples, and reinventing some ‘fast food’ healthy alternatives. Here’s her take on corn and chicken soup.
Chicken and corn soup
Chicken and corn soup (and crabmeat and corn soup) from the local Chinese restaurant was a childhood staple in our household and is filled with fond memories for me. This popular crowd pleaser also provides the perfect opportunity to sneak in other hidden treasures and bump up that veg count. If you’re short of time, instead of poaching the chicken in the stock, you can divide a shredded barbecued chicken breast among individual bowls — or, to make the soup a little special, use some picked crabmeat, which you can buy in small tubs from fishmongers and selected supermarkets.
Listen to Olivia Andrews on Feed Play Love:
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 4 spring onions (scallions), quartered lengthways, then thinly sliced
- 8 cups (2 litres) Chicken stock (page 220)
- 115 g (4 oz) punnet of fresh baby corn (see tips), coarsely chopped, or a 425 g (15 oz) tin baby corn, drained and chopped (see tips)
- 1 chicken breast, weighing 180–250 g (6–9 oz)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ½ quantity (1½ cups) Creamed corn (page 213)
- 1 large corn cob, kernels removed, or 1⅓ cups (200 g) frozen corn kernels
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 225 g (8 oz) tin bamboo strips, drained (see tips)
- spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced on an angle
- coriander (cilantro) sprigs
- freshly ground white pepper (see tips)
Step 1. Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the spring onion for 2 minutes, or until softened. Pour in the stock. If using fresh baby corn, add it now and bring the stock to a simmer.
Step 2. Add the whole chicken breast, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Set a timer to 12 minutes for a 180 g (9 oz) breast, or 15 minutes for a 250 g (9 oz) breast. (If the stock starts to simmer, remove the lid to let some heat escape — you don’t want the stock to simmer, or you’ll overcook the chicken.)
Step 3. Remove the poached chicken from the broth and set aside to rest. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and set aside.
Step 4. In a bowl, mix the cornflour with a little of the broth to make a smooth slurry.
Step 5. Add the soy sauce, ginger, creamed corn and corn kernels to the soup. (If using tinned baby corn, add it now.) Slowly stir in the cornflour slurry until combined. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs, waiting until they’re completely poured in, then very gently stir.
Step 6. Return the chicken to the pan with the bamboo shoots and warm for 1 minute. Season to taste with sea salt.
Step 7. Serve the soup immediately, drizzled with a little more sesame oil, and sprinkled with the spring onion, coriander and white pepper, if using.
- To make the soup vegan and dairy free, use Mushroom stock as the soup base, omit the chicken or crabmeat, and use olive oil instead
of butter when making the creamed corn.
- For a gluten-free soup, use gluten-free soy sauce.
- After draining tinned corn or tinned bamboo shoots, I steep them in boiling water for 5 minutes to remove the overpowering brine flavour.
- I keep white peppercorns in my grinder — I absolutely love them! Freshly ground white pepper is fabulous with this soup, so do give it a go.
Make a double batch, up until the point of adding the eggs, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, gently reheat, then resume the recipe.
Images and Text from Three Veg and Meat by Olivia Andrews, Photography by Phu Tang, Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.