Even though it’s supposed to be summer, it’s just not. It’s overcast, raining constantly and I even hear some thunder in the distance as I’m typing this. The only thing missing is a lit fireplace and a few cinnamon candles, that would really make it autumn. This kind of weather always makes me crave hearty foods. So why shouldn’t I?
I’m also in one of my ‘make do with whatever you have‘, kitchen moods. Checked the pantry and happened to have canned brown beans and corn on hand. Perfect! This, in my humble opinion, is a very good starting point for a spontaneous spicy bean and corn chowder!
1 large can brown beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 green onions
1 bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Open up the cans! Drain and rinse the beans/corn. Not sure why, but I get slightly dizzy when I look at this photo for too long.
Dice the onion, spring onions, garlic, chili pepper and bell pepper. I’m not fond of floating pepper skin in my soup, so I would normally go for roasted peppers – I really like their flavor. Alas, time was of the essence today so I went for the second best thing. Just take out your vegetable peeler and get this baby out of his pretty yellow coat.
Everything chopped? Good. You move up to level 2.
Sautee the bell pepper, onions, chili pepper and garlic in about 2 tbsp olive oil until the onions are slightly translucent. This is all the oil you’ll be using for the entire dish, so it’s pretty low-fat.
Add the spices to the mixture, stir well and let them cook for about 30 to 60 seconds to get the flavors going, not for much longer or the curry powder will turn bitter on you.
Throw in the beans, corn and diced tomatoes. Make sure the broth is steaming hot before you pour it in! See, mine is steaming! Add the salt and thyme. Start with one tsp salt (I used coarse sea salt), remember you can always add more, but subtracting is a teeny bit more complicated.
Put the lid on and bring to a boil. Boil the soup over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes. Now here’s what I do. I ladle about half of the soup straight into the food processor and blitz. I really love that word, blitz. Makes me feel like I’m doing something real trendy. Then I throw the blitzed soup (sorry) back into the pan. Taste to check the seasoning.
Fill up a few pretty soup bowls, top with a tablespoon sour cream (or creme fraiche) and sprinkle some parsley on top. Serve with grilled bacon sandwiches, or as I did, buttered bread slices with thinly sliced smoked and salted beef.
No matter how you turn it, this is comfort food. Not bad for the waistline either!