Sweetcorn and tarragon soup
Time: 1 hour and a bit
You can stretch this out to make a starter for four by adding another potato and some more milk.
- 2 corn cobs
- 1 small onion, chopped in half
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- About ½ litre (1 pint) full-fat milk
- Strip the corn kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife. Cut the husks into smallish pieces.
- Put the corn kernels and husks into a pan, along with the potato, onion, bay leaf and anise. Add enough water to cover, bring to the boil and cook for about ½ hour, until the corn is tender and the potato is soft.
- Remove the corn husks and onion and throw them away. Remove the bay leaf, anise and potato but DON’T throw them away.
- Purée the remaining contents of the pan in a blender or mouli. A mouli is better because it also gets rid of the sharp, fibrous bits of the corn husk, which can be quite unpleasant to eat. In fact, the ideal thing is to blend it first, and then put it through the mouli, but I wouldn’t want to impose that on anyone if they didn’t feel comfortable with the washing-up implications.
- Add ½ litre of milk to the soup, along with the potato (mash it in), bay leaf and anise. Simmer gently for another ½ hour.
- Sauté the chopped shallot in butter until it softens, add the tarragon and cook briefly. Throw it all into the soup, stir and let it all cook together for another 5 minutes or so.
- Add salt to taste.