I promise that one day I'll stop with the Japanese inspired recipes but I'm on a bit of a roll. You see our recent trip to Japan had reminded me of something that I absolutely love. It's packet soup. In Australia, I'm the opposite, I really, really dislike packet soups. They always taste powdery and not quite right, but in Japan they've really cracked the soup code. So much so that in Winter, once a day I will end up having a packet of corn potage soup a day.
What is corn potage? It's a soup you don't read about that much in Australia or really outside of Japan although a potage's origins are French. Potage is a thick soup or stew but corn potage is a creamy soup made with sweetcorn. It is part of yōshoku cuisine (Western Japanese cuisine). It is simple, not too thick or heavy but with a gorgeously comforting sweet and milky flavour that reminds me of childhood.
It was our last day in Japan and we had a late flight so we stopped at the convenience store to pick up some goodies for the flight and to spend the large amount of coins we had amassed. I walked around the store knowing that there was something that I needed to buy but I couldn't quite remember. Mr NQN was getting impatient, anything to do with food shopping and he wants it to be over asap.
"We need some...omg what did we need? It was on my list!" I said, the last item on the tip of my tongue. A Spanish girl had once told me that if you can't remember something then it was because it was a lie which I thought was interesting although didn't really apply in this case. I walked around the store about four times hoping to jog my memory and then I found it: a box of ten corn potage packets. But that packet of ten went surprisingly quickly and I realised that eating packet soups wasn't a very good idea so I decided to make my own. As it gets chillier the appeal of salads is rapidly dwindling and nothing warms the heart more than a bowl of soup.
The best news about this is that it is a really simple soup to make. It is not thick like a stew although you could perhaps make it that way by reducing the stock and milk and adding more cream. The cream does add a lot of flavour and texture, even in such a small amount and Mr NQN was as huge a fan of this as me. And my tip is to use the best chicken stock or your favourite chicken stock because there are so few ingredients, they really show through in the final soup!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever heard of that Spanish saying that if you can't remember something then it's because it's a lie? Have you ever tried corn potage?
Makes 1 litre of soup or 4 servings
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
- 1 small onion, very finely diced
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups chicken stock (best quality)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup cream
Step 1 - Fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat in a cast iron pot until translucent. Add the other tablespoon of butter and melt and add the flour and cook for a minute. Then add the milk slowly and then the chicken stock. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then add the corn kernels and cream and heat through.