This morning I discovered that Mr 7 reads my blog! Well maybe not reads it regularly, but he knows the URL and can type it into the iPad. I don’t know why this surprised me, he is great at reading and writing and I talk about the blog a lot. AND he often has to wait to eat his dinner as if I have made something for the boys it his him that gets the nicely presented china bowl/plate that I snap pictures of, Mr 4 still gets the ikea plastic plates! (Trust me if you knew Mr 4 you would understand why!)
What it did make me realise is I need to be careful what I say on here! No mentioning what I have bought him for his birthday or the surprise trip I have planned!
Which puts me at a bit of a loss as to what to tell you today, as I had planned to share my day with you, but that is a secret. I can tell you that Stew took both the boys shopping this afternoon and I got 3 hours to get stuff done. Stew returned home looking rather bedraggled, he said it was manic, which is what you would expect for a Saturday 2 weeks before Christmas. And he had both boys, which always adds an extra level of stress and chaos. I may have not been that sympathetic 😳 as I take Mr 4 shopping all the time and usually have to stop at the shops with both of them at least once a week.
I mentioned that next year, he should buy my birthday presents in September, that way he could have a nice relaxing shopping trip with the boys. He said he’d do it online, or just go without the boys! Still I am hopeful that I will have lots of lovely presents tomorrow as I know he went into a cook shop as, and I quote “I was stood next to the glasses and decanters and turned around to find Mr 4 using the boxes like drums!”
I am also hoping for a lie-in tomorrow. My birthday and Mother’s day are my days where I can justifiably roll over and get an extra hours kip 🙂
I might be back tomorrow as I have a cocktail recipe I’d like to share, but for now I want to share this delicious Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup recipe. This is the chicken and sweetcorn soup I had planned to share yesterday, before I made the most perfect looking Turkish Bread 😉
I love chicken and sweetcorn soup, it is comforting and warming, yet it works well when the weather is hot too. When I was working as a housekeeper in a hotel (we are going back to the very end of my teenage years and early 20’s!!!) on my way home on a Thursday night I would drive past the Chinese take away and order special chow mein, sesame prawn toast and chicken and sweetcorn soup. I always ordered the same thing. It was my Thursday night ritual. Thursday signified the end of the week really as come Friday night I was working in the restaurant or in the wedding tent. So Thursday was my night off and I indulged most weeks, Chinese take away and a cheesy movie. I rocked it back then 😉
The thing with an Asian chicken and sweetcorn soup is the thick glutenous texture. Some people add an egg and allow it to slowly cook to give you egg ribbons. I usually like to make this without the egg as I tend to freeze batches of it and then defrost and reheat it when I fancy a big bowl. Microwaved egg is like chewing slippery rubber bands, not pleasant so I leave it out.
If you are going to eat this straight away then I have added the instruction for egg ribbons at the bottom of the recipe. Both versions are delicious.
If you want to use shop bought stock then this soup will still turn out to be yummy. I have made it with shop bought stock (and even bouillon powder or concentrate) many times and it is still a wonderful dish, just be careful with your seasonings as shop bought stock tends to be much saltier than homemade.
I always use drumsticks as they make a great stock and the meat is moist and easy to remove from the bone. You could use wings but I don’t have the patience! This is also a great way to use up left over roast chicken. Now I say that, but I never have left over roast chicken! The men in my house will demolish a roast chicken leaving me with the soft bits at the bottom on the thigh and the wonderful nuggets of meat that nestle underneath. they are my favourite bits so I am not complaining :-). But if you don’t have a family of chicken crazed men, then you might have some left over chicken! If you are using breast meat then take care not to over cook it as it can go dry and stringy.
My recipe doesn’t used a can of creamed corn. I used to make it with creamed corn and it did give it a wonderful thickness, but I always found the soup a bit sweet, so I would add extra salt or soy sauce. Until I finally decided that the sugar they add to creamed corn was just too much and I started pureeing my own corn into the soup to get a similar texture.
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For the stock
- 2 carrot
- 4 sticks celery
- 2 onion
- 100g mushrooms
- 5 cloves garlic
- 15 whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 litres of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 chicken drumsticks
For the Soup
- Meat from the poached chicken drumsticks
- 600g frozen corn
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame Oil
- 4 tbsp corn flour mixed with 8 tbsp of water
- White pepper
- spring onion and red chilli (optional garnish)
- Extra soy sauce to taste.
- 2 eggs (optional – see Note at end of the recipe)
- Roughly chop the carrot, celery and onion.
- Give the mushrooms a good dust and remove any soil or dirt. (As we are using them for stock you can wash them if they are extra dirty).
- Lightly crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife. There is no need to peel them.
- Place the prepared vegetables, peppercorns, bay leaves, water and salt in a pan and bring it to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for an hour.
- After an hour add your chicken to the stock and let it simmer for another 20 mins.
- Remove the stock from the heat.
- Carefully remove the chicken drumsticks and set aside to cool, then remove the chicken from the bones. (Discard bones and skin)
- Pour the stock through a sieve and discard the vegetables and aromatics.
- Pour the stock back into your pan and put it back onto the heat.
- Add about 400g of your frozen sweetcorn (I never measure this, I just do it by eye. You want to add two thirds of the full amount.
- Chop the spring onion into small pieces and add to the soup.
- Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Use a stick blender to puree your soup.
- Add the chicken, soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Give it a few seconds of whizzing so the chicken is lightly shredded.
- Add the remaining frozen sweetcorn and allow to defrost.
- Give your corn flour mix a stir and gently pour it into the soup. Add it gradually and stir the soup constantly to avoid chewy flour lumps.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Check the seasoning and serve garnished with spring onion and chilli (if using)
Note: If you want to add egg ribbons, complete the recipe to step 17. Then crack two eggs into a small bowl and whisk together well. Stir the soup and gently pour the egg mixture into the soup. You are aiming for a slow steady flow that can be gently stirred through the soup. The egg cooks in a matter of a minute so check the seasoning and serve.