This is a hearty, rich winter soup, quite different from the chicken and sweetcorn version you’ll get from your local Chinese take-away. The sweetness of the parsnip and sweetcorn is balanced with the heat of the chicken – add more horseradish and lengthen marinading time, or even add chilli if you like it hotter. Chicken thighs are tastier than breast and stop the chicken flavour getting lost in the thickness of the soup. If you don’t have corn on the cob you can of course use tinned, but the adding of the cob to the cooking does add flavour.
You’ll need the following and all measurements are rough, this was done a bit on the hoof):
- 4 Chicken Thighs – trimmed and cleaned
- Two Cobs of Corn
- 200 ml Double Cream
- 750 ml Chicken Stock
- 1 Parsnip
- 1 Leek
- 3 Shallots
- 1 Potato
- 1/2 Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbsp Horseradish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- Vegetable Oil
- 25g Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
Combine the lemon juice, Horseradish sauce and honey in a bowl and cover the chicken thighs: leave to marinade for 1 hour (longer if possible) to maximise the flavour
Part boil the potato and parsnip until starting to soften and drain. Prep the other vegetables – slice the leeks, peel and finely slice the shallots and cut the corn from the cobs (retaining the cobs after removing)
Heat oil and a little butter in a pan and simmer the shallot and leeks for around 3 mins, until starting to soften. Add the cut sweetcorn, potato and parsnip and continue to simmer for another two mins.
Add stock to the mixture along with the corn cobs and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and cook gently for 7 minutes.
Turn the heat off and remove the cobs from the mixture. Take the pan off heat and blitz until smooth and silky (level of blitzing depends on how smooth you like it, personally I don’t like bits of sweetcorn so blended until smooth).
Add cream and leave off the heat.
Now to the chicken, drain the excess liquid from the chicken marinade. Heat butter in a frying pan and when hot add chicken, frying the meat on a medium heat
Keep stirring until the chicken is crisp up and browned. Remove from the pan and chop into small pieces. While chopping the chicken return the soup to the heat, heating it through, its important not to let the soup boil at this stage as you’ve added cream.
Pour the soup into bowls, add some torn basil, then add chopped chicken. If you like you can also sprinkle over finely grated Parmesan, add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh crusty bread.